Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
It was not your basic fuel tax hike. Utah voters were told that raising the tax would help education by redirecting revenue from the General Fund to schools that currently goes to transportation. Yet voters also passed decidedly liberal initiatives.
Repeal proponents have already planned a sequel for Proposition 6, regardless of whether the measure passes, resulting in the loss of over $5 billion annually from new transportation user fees, including a 12-cents per gallon gas tax increase.
With national media focused on individual candidates, propositions that dealt with park and water bonds, transportation spending, cap-and-trade, and rainwater may have been overlooked. Plus, a measure to increase bridge tolls in the Bay Area.
Voters looking for a reason to vote against Prop 72, which provides a tax break for homeowners who install rainwater capture systems, won't find one. None were submitted. Proponents of measures for parks, climate, and transportation are not so lucky.
However, neither state will ask voters to increase the gas tax. Instead, they ask voters to assure that gas tax and other transportation-derived revenues are spent on transportation. Neither state has raised the tax in over 25 years.