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East Bay County Proposes Half-Cent Transportation Sales Tax

The newly formed Alameda County Transportation Commission is proposing a permanent, half-cent sales tax be placed on before the voters of the second most populous Bay Area county for the Nov. 2012 ballot for a variety of transportation purposes.
November 26, 2011, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Should the measure be approved by a 2/3 vote, Alameda would join Los Angeles as the only CA counties with dedicated transportation county sales taxes - this is in addition to any transit district taxes, such as the half-cent BART sales tax that Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties pay. There is controversy among county transit advocates though about the transit portion (44%) of the proposed sales tax:

"A coalition of social justice and public transit advocates said the $400 million for BART to Livermore (extension) would be better spent on restoring bus service.

"To ensure that B3 (the tax increase) is successful, it must equitably invest in sustaining our existing transportation system and not increase the share of tax dollars being funneled to costly, low-benefit expansion projects," the coalition said in a statement (Nov. 13) made to a transportation commission steering committee.

In sharp disagreement, dozens of Livermore residents packed the Thursday meeting in Oakland to speak out for the rail extension funds."

"Local roads and streets would receive 30 percent. Trails and other projects to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation would get 5 percent."

The current county transportation 1/2 cent sales tax expires 2022. Should B3 appear on the Nov. ballot, it may accompany a regional (9-county) gas tax of up to 10-cent gallon for transportation, primarily public transit.

Thanks to Climate Plan

Full Story:
Published on Monday, November 21, 2011 in Contra Costa Times
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