County supervisors place half-cent transportation tax measure back on ballot

Two-thirds favorable votes needed for approval in Nov. 4 balloting

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to place a transportation sales tax increase measure on the November ballot, a measure that failed by a small number of votes two years ago.

If approved by voters on Nov. 4, more than $8 billion in funds will be available over the coming years for projects that proponents say will create 150,000 new jobs.

Supervisors said the measure would fund transportation improvements within every city throughout Alameda County over the next 30 years.

"The Transportation Expenditure Plan is the culmination of significant collaboration between our agency, numerous civic organizations and the general public to develop a plan that improves all forms of transportation throughout Alameda County," said Scott Haggerty, Alameda County supervisor and chairman of the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

"A smooth-flowing transportation network is absolutely critical in supporting Alameda County's economic vitality," added Supervisor Keith Carson, chairman of the East Bay Development Alliance. "Better roads and transit will attract businesses and will help the flow of goods and services."

Transportation priorities to be addressed if the measure is approved would, according to proponents:

Create jobs within Alameda County by requiring local contracting that supports residents and businesses in Alameda County.

Provide traffic relief, including funds to every city in the county to repave streets, fill potholes and upgrade local transportation infrastructure. It would also invest in aging highway corridors to upgrade on and off ramps, using modern technology to manage traffic and improve safety.

Expand BART, bus and commuter rail for reliable, safe and fast services, including BART expansion and improvements within Alameda County, bus service expansion and commuter rail service improvements.

Keep fares affordable for seniors, youth and people with disabilities, including senior shuttles, vans and services, and funding for student transit passes.

Expand bike and pedestrian paths for greater safety and convenience throughout the county.

A new report, titled "In the Fast Lane: Improving Reliability, Stabilizing Local Funding, and Enabling the Transportation Systems of the Future in Alameda County" by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, notes that "well-functioning transportation systems are critical to economic competitiveness" and that the measure going to voters in November would invest in current and future transportation needs.

"Investing in Alameda County's transportation system means investing in Alameda County's future prosperity," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council.

"The 2014 Transportation Expenditure Plan outlines a bold and necessary vision for Alameda County," he added. "With its focus on expanding and modernizing BART, fixing roads and highways, and providing transit programs for youth and seniors, the Transportation Expenditure Plan will help make Alameda County a place where businesses of all shapes and sizes want to start, stay and grow."

"And it will make it easier for all Alameda County residents to get where they need to go safely and efficiently," he said.

At a press conference Tuesday, a number of notable county and transportation leaders, including Haggerty, Carson and Wunderman, pledged theiR strong support for the Transportation Expenditure Plan and its supporting measure.

They were joined by Elsa Ortiz of the AC Transit board of directors and an Alameda County transportation commissioner, and Tom Blalock, also a county transportation commissioner and a member of the BART board of directors.

A half-cent Alameda County Transportation sales tax was first approved by 81.5% of county voters in 2000.


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Posted by Roger Gathers
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:57 am

These people just can't seem to get it through their heads that we are so over-taxed already, that we have one of the highest sales taxes in the country. It's time to say ENOUGH! Everyone would like to solve transportation problems, but sometimes you have to realize that not every desire is affordable. In addition, the sales tax is one of the most regressive taxes. Everyone pays without any consideration of income level. I voted NO the last time and I will vote NO again.

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Posted by Gene J.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:47 am

I totally agree with RG's comment. We already have 9+ % sales tax, so why does adding another .5% make the world so much better? Where is all of the current money going that we are in such dire straights today? Wouldn't happen to be to support all of these Boards, Commissions, Alliances , etc., and their ever growing bureaucracies that support and feed off each other to no end. Vote NO.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

I'm sorry we are taxed to death in Alameda county. You want to help with transportation, add a car pool lane north on 680. More people will car pool that way!! I'm sorry I am tired of funding all these "projects" the county comes up with that don't seem to help with anything I can tell.

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Posted by 30 years is nearly "permanent"
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

Traditional mortgages are for 30 years,
and the "mort" is the same as in mortality, it means Death.
Many voters could be paying even more taxes the rest of their lives.
Hopefully voters will chose again NOT to burden their children and grandchildren with a regressive tax nearly forever.
And much of the money might go for us to pay AGAIN for BARTD to finally finish installing the system we have already been paying taxes for, since it was promised over 40 years ago.
BARTD told us, and the Federal and State agencies who also helped fund it, that they needed the money to build the system to include Livermore, then they never built it, but kept the money.
They also promised a seat for every rider and free parking. They skimped on parking spaces at the Pleasanton station, claiming it was NOT the end of the line. Then they sold much of the parking lot to built apartments, who also lack enough parking.
Ever try to park there? Impossible.
We ALREADY pay BARTD high mandatory sales and property taxes, whether we have a station we can use or not.
Now some of the proposed additional tax on us would go to pay for a new station in Fremont, who never paid a nickel for the original system.
Why should every one who purchases anything here pay even more for something they may not even use?
Our sales taxes are already out of sight. Vote NO again on more taxes.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:14 am

LOL !! Failed again!! Get a clue LiberDems, No more taxes!!

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Rosewood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The purposes mentioned are all good. (Well, except paying the bloated BART people). However, we already pay several kinds of taxes that are supposed to be spent on those purposes. Quit wasting what we give you. We aren't going to give you any more.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

My suggestion is that more and more and more eligible Americans become involved in the electoral process. Run for office. Remain involved and raise children that take over when you're no longer able.

How can any responsible American depend on elected officials to do a job that you?

How many of the above posters have run for elective office? That speaks volumes.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Correction: How can responsible Americans depend on elected officials to work in their behalf?

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Posted by Amused
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

The tax whiner who posts under multiple names should sit down some day and actually calculate the kinds of things accomplished by the state for its tax paying citizens. (My strong hunch is that the first sign of a pothole, the tax whiner is screaming out for someone else to fix it.)

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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Amused, the way you phrased your comment was very telling about your mindset (or lack thereof).
'Things accomplished by the state for its taxpaying citizens'. And, what about those that pay no taxes and reap the benefits of the working poor paying for their benefits?
The fact is, the dems know that no one will vote them out of office, since they've managed to create a large, voting dependent class. Of course, they want the few people still working to cough up more money to finance their sex changes, birth control, medical pot, etc. Yes, the state accomplishes so much, most of which is wasteful and unnecessary. Which public union are you affiliated with?

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Posted by Exorbitant Salaries
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:05 pm

And pensions. That's the reason Alameda county needs to squeeze more taxes out of us. Alameda county administrator Susan Muranishi, the highest-paid county administrator in California, gets paid $400K+ per year and will receive that same amount as a pension for life. It's easy to be generous with other peoples' money.

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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2014 at 7:44 am

"create jobs" by "requiring local contracting"....Now I don't suppose that would mean require hiring only "UNION" contractors, forbid hiring a competent, skilled small family company or worker. Los Positas and many government related construction jobs in recent years can only go to 'union' workers, excluding 'lowest bidders' like many family companies would be. NO, we must WASTE tax dollars by using 'favorite insiders' and paying them TOP, no, over-the-top dollars. OPM...after all it's not the big shot 'deciders' money, it's all those 'other' taxpayer dollars...not to jobs for hiring the most expensive 'union' workers.

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Posted by Gomer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2014 at 7:53 am

The half-penny tax increase is excessive and oppressive. This is what it feels like to live in a tyranny people. Impeach Our Dear Leader! Support Your Local Tea Party! No taxation without ... whatever. No taxation!

Like this comment
Posted by lll
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

The county supervisors just pushed through the additional health care sales tax on our last election. Since they pushed that through so quickly, we should assume that the health care sales tax is more important than the transportation sales tax. We do not have bottomless pockets so the board of supervisors prioritized these items for us. No on additional taxes. The supervisors will just find another way to waste our money.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Jun 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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