Poll: Bay Area Voters on Transit Funding Sources

Voters in Northern California indicated support for higher taxes on the wealthy and big companies, rejecting increased property or sales taxes to support transportation projects.

1 minute read

March 11, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Red and yellow vintage streetcar in front of San Francisco Ferry Building.

Ferry Building and trolley in San Francisco, California. | diegograndi / Adobe Stock

Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area say they want the wealthiest residents and companies to pay for better public transit in the region, reports Ethan Baron in The Mercury News.

A poll taken in the region found that “Nearly six out of 10 poll respondents said they would support holding a future Bay Area-wide ballot measure that would hike income tax on high earners to pay for an affordable, coordinated network of bus, rail and ferry lines, and improved roads and pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.”

Respondents indicated they would support boosting transit funding through a 1 percent tax on people making more than $300,000 a year and higher payroll taxes on employers with over $4 million in annual revenue.  However, “nearly half of all respondents wanted local officials to focus on improving roads and highways, while just under 40% wanted a focus on better transit.” Voters also ‘strongly rejected’ increasing sales or property taxes to fund transportation.

A proposed bill, SB 925, would allow the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to propose funding via a regional ballot measure. “The agency would like to see the funding measure raise $1 billion to $2 billion annually through methods that could include a sales tax, an income tax, a payroll tax, a parcel tax, a vehicle registration surcharge or a regional vehicle-miles traveled charge.”

Sunday, March 10, 2024 in The Mercury News

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