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2014 sales tax

CA Voters Vote on a Swath of Transportation Measures Today

Supporters of Alameda County's Measure BB, including labor and youth leaders, gathered recently in Oakland, California. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

While you're standing in line waiting for your turn to vote, be glad that you don't have to weigh in on every fiscal measure on the ballot.

According to the California Taxpayer's Association, Californians will vote today on over 200 measures that propose to raise money via bonds or taxes for a variety of services. That includes 113 school bond measures, with 14 in the city of Los Angeles alone. It also includes a number of bonds and sales tax measures that would be used for transportation--mostly repairing of potholes, but some transit funding as well.

There are also a number of propositions that ask voters to weigh in on planning issues, from building heights and parking requirements to roundabouts.

Below is a subjective list, by county, of some of the local transportation and land-use tax and planning proposals on today's ballot. Note that all of the fiscal measures must pass by a 2/3 majority.

    • Alameda County: Measure BB would increase the existing sales tax by ½ cent to fund transportation infrastructure improvements. Priorities for the revenue, as listed in the measure, are to expand mass transit, improve highway infrastructure, improve local streets and roads, improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, and expand special transportation for seniors and people with disabilities. This measure was on the last ballot, and just barely missed passing with 66.53 percent of the vote (it needed 66.67 percent).
    • Berkeley, Alameda County: Measure R would rewrite the city's Downtown Plan, and generated controversy when the authors disagreed with the city's ballot language. The 27-page measure would, among many things, change some requirements for taller buildings, increase parking requirements, create a downtown historic district, and require voters to approve some developments.
    • Placerville, El Dorado County: Measure K would prohibit the city from constructing any roundabouts or traffic circles without first submitting them to a popular vote.
    • City of Monterey, Monterey County: Measure P would impose a 1-cent sales tax to “address significant deferred maintenance by fixing streets, sidewalks, and potholes; improve related access and safety for senior citizens, disabled residents, and others” as well as repair the city's storm drain system.
    • Monterey-Salinas Transit District, Monterey County: Measure Q would impose a 1/8-cent sales tax to “maintain and protect transit services for seniors, veterans, and disabled individuals, including special trips.”
    • Blythe, Riverside County: Measure Y is an advisory measure that directs the city to use revenues from a hotel tax--also on the ballot--for a laundry list of services that include street and sidewalk repairs.
    • San Francisco, City and County: Proposition A would authorize a bond for $500 million for road improvements. The funds would be used to improve transit reliability and accessibility, to improve the conditions of streets, and to make the roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
    • Proposition B would require the city to increase the base amount of funding it provides transit, walking, and biking by a percentage that equals population growth.
    • Proposition L is an advisory measure urging the city to enshrine 20th-century cars-first policies such as maintaining free parking, building more parking garages, and generally making cars a higher priority.
    • Atascadero, San Luis Obispo County: Measure E is an advisory measure that would direct the city to use revenues from a proposed sales tax increase to “repair and maintain neighborhood roads.”
    • Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo County: Measure K would authorize $48 million in bonds for road repair and maintenance. The ballot language includes the need to “enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, neighborhood school crosswalks” but lists it after “to improve drivability.”
    • Turlock, Stanislaus County: Measure B would impose a 0.5% sales tax for 7 years to fund road repairs. The specific purposes include "the construction, reconstruction, replacement, repair and/or maintenance of existing city streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, ramps, pedestrian/bicycle improvements, including Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, and necessary pavement markings.”
    • Marysville, Yuba County: Measure W would add a one-cent sales tax to be used for a variety of purposes, including improving traffic safety and increase street and sidewalk repair.

There are also three measures on the ballot to ban fracking within the counties of San Benito, Santa Barbara, and Mendocino.

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