The Legal Implications of Container Fees: A Case Study of California Senate Bill 974

Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy, Vol. 78, No. 3, pp. 157-189 (2011)

34 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2012 Last revised: 14 Sep 2020

See all articles by Chris Carr

Chris Carr

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Ray Bowman

Bowman Business Services; Small Business Development Center for Santa Barbara County and Ventura County

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

California’s transportation infrastructure is aging while the revenue to support that infrastructure is declining. Traditional financing mechanisms to support infrastructure maintenance and enhancements have included bonds, Private Public Partnerships (PPPs), regulatory fees, and taxes. California Senate Bill 974 sought to impose a charge on containerized cargo moving through three California ports -- Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland. The revenue generated from this bill would have been used to attempt to improve port infrastructure, mitigate traffic congestion surrounding the ports, and reduce environmental pollution. SB 974 was passed by both houses of the California legislature but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Using SB 974 as a case study, we address the primary legal issues surrounding such a container fee bill. We also address the political and economic pushback that ultimately led to the bill’s defeat.  

Keywords: Container fees, constitutionality, transportation, infrastructure, air quality improvements, general fund, international trade, export, import, Senate Bill 974

Suggested Citation

Carr, Chris and Bowman, Ray, The Legal Implications of Container Fees: A Case Study of California Senate Bill 974 (2009). Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy, Vol. 78, No. 3, pp. 157-189 (2011), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2186676

Chris Carr (Contact Author)

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo ( email )

Orfalea College of Business
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
United States
805-756-2657 (Phone)
805-756-0110 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/directory/profile/chris-carr/

Ray Bowman

Bowman Business Services ( email )

Ventura, CA
United States

Small Business Development Center for Santa Barbara County and Ventura County ( email )

CA
United States

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