SENATE, No. 4090

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.

District 18 (Middlesex)

Senator† LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes ďAlternative Fuel Vehicle Transportation Financing CommissionĒ to examine manner in which alternative fuel vehicles may be taxed to contribute to cost of maintaining State transportation system.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act establishing an ďAlternative Fuel Vehicle Transportation Financing CommissionĒ and amending P.L.2006, c.3.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† (New section) a. There is created an ďAlternative Fuel Vehicle Transportation Financing CommissionĒ (commission) to consist of seven members as follows:

†††† (1)†† the State Treasurer, ex officio, or the State Treasurerís designee;

†††† (2)†† the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, ex officio, or the commissionerís designee;

†††† (3)†† the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, ex officio, or the chief administratorís designee;

†††† (4)†† one member of the public appointed by the President of the Senate;

†††† (5)†† one member of the public appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; and

†††† (6)†† two members of the public appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

†††† b.††† The members of the public appointed to the commission shall have a professional background in transportation capital finance, transportation capital planning, or tax revenue collection.† The commission shall organize and hold its initial organizational meeting as soon after the appointment of all of its public members as is practicable.† Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.† Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, except that public members may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and within the limits of funds available to the commission.† The commission may meet and hold hearings open to the public at a place or places it designates within the State.

†††† c.†††† The State Treasurer shall serve as chair of the commission.† A recommendation of the commission shall be approved upon receiving a majority vote of the full membership of the commission.† All designees of ex officio members of the commission may lawfully vote and otherwise act on behalf of the members for whom they constitute the designee.

†††† d.††† The Department of the Treasury shall provide staff support to the commission, including the appointment of a secretary by the chair of the commission.† Additionally, the commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as the commission may require and as may be available to the commission for its purposes.

 

†††† 2.††† (New section) It shall be the duty of the commission to study and make findings and recommendations concerning the taxation of motor vehicles that are powered by a fuel source that is not subject to the motor fuels tax pursuant to P.L.2010, c.22 (C.54:39-101 et seq.) or the petroleum products gross receipts tax pursuant to P.L.1990, c.42 (C.54:15B-1 et seq.), including, but not limited to, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.† The report shall include recommendations to the Legislature for a system of taxation that mandates that all vehicles operating on the highways of this State contribute equitably to the cost of maintaining the State transportation system.

 

†††† 3.††† (New section) The commission shall issue a report of its findings and recommendations, pursuant to section 2 of this act, to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature within 180 days after the initial meeting of the commission.† The report shall include the commissionís recommendations for legislation that may be considered for adoption by the Legislature.

 

†††† 4.††† Section 6 of P.L.2006, c.3 (C.27:1B-22.2) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 6.††† There is hereby created in the Executive Branch of the State Government, a body corporate and politic, with corporate succession, to be known as the Transportation Policy Review Board.† For the purpose of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the board is hereby allocated within the Department of Transportation, but, notwithstanding that allocation, the board shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or by any body or officer thereof.† The board is hereby constituted as an instrumentality of the State exercising public and essential governmental functions, and the exercise by the board of the powers conferred by this act shall be deemed and held to be an essential governmental function of the State.

†††† The board shall be comprised of nine public members with experience in transportation finance and policy.† The Governor shall appoint three of the members with the advice and consent of the Senate, two of whom shall be experts that perform academic research in the areas of transportation and public transportation policy, planning, or engineering, and one of whom shall be an expert in the area of transportation capital finance.† The remaining members shall be appointed by the Governor as follows:† two upon the recommendation of the President of the Senate, one upon the recommendation of the Minority Leader of the Senate, two upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly, and one upon the recommendation of the Minority Leader of the General Assembly.† Each member shall have a professional background in passenger rail service, freight rail management, transportation capital planning, transportation and public transportation capital construction, federal transportation policy, State transportation policy, or transportation capital finance.† Each member shall serve for a four-year term and shall serve until the member's successor is appointed and qualified; provided, however, that in order to achieve non-concurrent terms, of the members first appointed pursuant to this section, two members appointed by the Governor shall serve for four years; while the three members appointed upon the recommendations of the President of the Senate and the Minority Leader of the Senate and the three members appointed upon the recommendations of the Speaker of the General Assembly and the Minority Leader of the General Assembly shall serve for three years each, and the remaining member appointed by the Governor shall serve for two years; and further provided that any member serving on the effective date of P.L.2016, c.56 (C.27:1B-22.5 et al.) shall serve until the expiration of that member's term, notwithstanding the criteria for appointment established pursuant to P.L.2016, c.56 (C.27:1B-22.5 et al.).† The Transportation Policy Review Board shall be deemed to be constituted immediately upon appointment and qualification in the manner provided in this section of at least five members.

†††† The purpose of the board is to assure fiscal discipline through evaluating the financing of transportation; independently analyzing and reporting on the cost effectiveness of spending in the transportation capital program; conducting and commissioning research on best practices in the areas of transportation and public transportation construction, planning, finance, and engineering; providing policy recommendations to the Legislature on the best ways to organize the capital program and appropriate capital program funds; and preparing an annual State of Condition of Transportation Financing certification.

†††† The board shall annually appear before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, or its successor, and the Assembly Budget Committee, or its successor, and provide independent analysis of the transportation capital program, provide comments on the cost effectiveness of the program, evaluate the condition of the State transportation system, and identify needed infrastructure investments.† The board shall annually appear before the Senate Transportation Committee, or its successor, and the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, or its successor, and report on best practices and cost savings in areas related to transportation and public transportation construction, planning, finance, infrastructure, and governance.† The board shall also make itself available to the aforementioned budget and transportation committees to conduct research and provide recommendations on policy issues that those committees request of the board.† The board shall issue an annual report on or before June 1 of each year which summarizes the work of the board for the prior year, evaluates the reports issued by the department pursuant to section 22 of P.L.1984, c.73 (C.27:1B-22), and provides independent recommendations for administering the annual capital program.

†††† The board shall be provided with a budget each year to be funded through the capital program, and the budget shall be sufficient to allow the board to commission independent research from academic and other experts in the area of research to be conducted, to avail itself of any professional or consultant services necessary to perform its functions, and to complete the reports and certifications required pursuant to this section.

†††† The board may call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, task force, or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes, and to employ stenographic and clerical assistance and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform its duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.

†††† [The board shall submit reports to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1) no later than April 1, 2017 concerning the taxation of motor vehicles that are powered by a fuel source that is not subject to the motor fuels tax pursuant to P.L.2010, c.22 (C.54:39-101 et seq.) or the petroleum products gross receipts tax pursuant to P.L.1990, c.42 (C.54:15B-1 et seq.), including, but not limited to electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.† The report required pursuant to this subsection shall include recommendations to the Legislature for a new system of taxation that mandates that all vehicles operating on the highways of this State contribute equitably to the cost of maintaining the State transportation system.]

†††† The State of Condition of Transportation Financing certification shall ensure that the financing and expenditures of the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority (the "authority") adhere to certain standards.† The standards are:

†††† a.†††† The bonding limitation as provided in subsection i. of section 9 of P.L.1984, c.73 (C.27:1B-9) [.];

†††† b.††† For the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2007, the amount expended from the revenues and other funds of the authority for permitted maintenance shall not exceed the amount expended for permitted maintenance in the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2006 [.]; and

†††† c.†††† The total amount authorized to be appropriated from the revenues and other funds of the authority for project costs commencing with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007 through the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 shall not exceed $1,600,000,000 annually, and for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2016 through the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2023 shall not exceed an aggregate $16,000,000,000 over that eight-year period.

†††† Commencing with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007, the board shall submit to the Governor, the Legislature, and the commissioner on an annual basis the State of Condition of Transportation Financing certification as to the requirements of certification standard a. referencing therein a certification with regard to certification standards b. and c. to the extent feasible, given the other provisions of this section.† The certifications shall be based on the board's review of the State's fiscal year final expenditures from the preceding fiscal year, including bonding and expenditures from the annual independent audit of the authority, and the amount of authority funds programmed for permitted maintenance.† If the capital program and its financing are found to be in compliance, the first annual certification required by this paragraph shall be submitted by February 1, 2008, after the certification is concurred with by the members of the authority, and by February 1 of each year thereafter.† The board shall advise the commissioner and the authority on February 1, 2008 and on each succeeding February 1, if the board finds that the authority is not in compliance with the bonding requirements as provided in certification standard a. of the section, and that a corrective action plan is needed.† The authority shall submit a corrective action plan that would reduce its future bond sales to offset the amount of excess bonding or to reduce future debt service payments, or both, as the case may be.† Upon approval of the corrective action plan by the board, the certification shall be issued with certain conditions.† The Annual Transportation Capital Program submitted to the Legislature for the forthcoming year shall be in compliance with the provisions of the corrective action plan.† If the board does not approve the corrective action plan, the authority shall submit a financial plan showing bonding only for existing projects, noting that no bonds shall be issued for new projects shown in the department's Annual Transportation Capital Program.† The board shall advise the commissioner on February 1, 2008 and on each succeeding February 1, if the board finds that the Department of Transportation has exceeded the limitation for the amount of authority funds spent on permitted maintenance pursuant to certification standard b. of this section, or for the amount authorized to be appropriated for project costs pursuant to certification standard c. of this section and that a corrective action plan is needed.† The department shall submit a corrective action plan that would offset the excess amount spent, or the excess amount appropriated, in the prior year with less funding for permitted maintenance or for projects, as the case may be, in the proposed capital budget request.† Upon approval of the corrective action plan by the board, a certification as to these matters shall be issued with certain conditions.† The Annual Transportation Capital Program submitted to the Legislature for the forthcoming year shall be in compliance with the provisions of the corrective action plan.† If the board does not approve the corrective action plan, the authority shall submit a financial plan showing bonding only for existing projects, noting that no bonds shall be issued for new projects shown in the department's Annual Transportation Capital Program.

(cf: P.L.2016, c.56, s.7)

 

†††† 5.††† This act shall take effect immediately and sections 1 through 3 shall expire on the first day following the submission by the commission of its report to the Governor and the Legislature pursuant to section 3 of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes an ďAlternative Fuel Vehicle Transportation Financing CommissionĒ (commission) to consist of seven members as follows:

†††† 1)††† the State Treasurer, ex officio, or the State Treasurerís designee;

†††† 2) the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, ex officio, or the commissionerís designee;

†††† 3)††† the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, ex officio, or the chief administratorís designee;

†††† 4)††† one member of the public appointed by the President of the Senate;

†††† 5)††† one member of the public appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; and

†††† 6)††† two members of the public appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The public members of the commission are to have a professional background in transportation capital finance, transportation capital planning, or tax revenue collection.† The State Treasurer is to serve as chair of the commission.

†††† The commission is to study and make findings and recommendations concerning the taxation of motor vehicles that are powered by a fuel source that is not subject to the motor fuels tax or the petroleum products gross receipts tax, including, but not limited to, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.† The report is to include recommendations to the Legislature for a system of taxation that mandates that all vehicles operating on the highways of this State contribute to the cost of maintaining the State transportation system.

†††† The commission is to issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature within 180 days after the initial meeting of the commission.† The report is to include the commissionís recommendations for legislation that may be considered for adoption by the Legislature.

†††† The bill amends current law to transfer the responsibility for the aforementioned study and report from the Transportation Policy Review Board to the commission.