How Roads Are Funded
State Gasoline Tax
For every gallon of gasoline we pump into our vehicles, the State of California collects a few cents of Gasoline Tax. The State then distributes money back to California counties using a formula based on each county's number of registered vehicles. This money becomes a special revenue fund called the Road Fund. This fund must be used for road and transportation purposes.
This local, ½ cent gasoline sales tax was approved by San Diego County voters in 1987 for 20 years and extended for an additional 40 years to 2048 by a 2/3 vote again by San Diego County voters in November 2004. TransNet is dedicated to specific transportation improvement projects included in the approved measure and is administered by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). SANDAG also administers several special programs that are included in measures that involve a competitive call for projects and/or proposals. Another portion of the funds is dedicated by formula to local projects administered by the local jurisdictions within San Diego County.
Transportation Development Act (TDA)
This State revenue is used to build bike lanes, build and operate transit centers and supplement fare box revenues for the County Transit System.
Federal and State Grants
The Federal Highway Authority (FHWA) and Federal Community Development Block Grant programs provide funding for specific roads and bridges in eligible communities. Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) grants are used to make needed repairs after damage by storms or disasters.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) grants are used to encourage public entities to utilize rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC) which is road material made with recycled tires. Here is a listing of roads recently resurfaced with RAC.
The Department of Public Works administers the operation of 85 districts, which provide street lighting, fire protection, landscape, and road maintenance services, and manages one Countywide Lighting Maintenance District. Districts are created when residents of an area desire a level of service beyond what the county normally provides. Property owners define the desired level of service, and then assess themselves to pay for the services. DPW has a Special Districts section that manages these districts and administers their budgets.