Two years after voters in the nine-county Bay Area agreed to hike tolls on the region's seven state-owned bridges, regional business leaders are hoping they will approve a one-cent regional sales tax to fund $100 billion in transportation projects.
Two transportation bonding initiatives will appear on the ballot on Nov. 6: A $3.5 billion measure would have debt repayments come from the general fund, while a $6 billion initiative would create a revenue stream by hiking sales taxes.
Transit activists celebrated the good news that residents will finally be given the opportunity to join the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority but bemoaned that they would have to wait till March 2020 to vote on the one percent sales tax.
The Let's Move Nashville plan would spend $9 billion (including $5.4 billion for capital costs) to build a new transit network in the quickly growing city of Nashville. Voters will decide if the plan is worth the cost.
The oldest commuter rail line west of the Mississippi is also unique in another way—it lacks a dedicated source of operating revenue. Legislation has been introduced to allow Peninsula counties to vote to increase sales taxes by 0.125 percent.
A bill to ask voters in November to increase the state sales tax by 0.62 percent to fund transportation projects passed its first House committee March 22 on a partisan vote, with Democrats in support and Republican opposed.