Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
We depend on your support.
Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 8, 2016 — California General Election
We depend on your support.
Invest in unbiased information

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

— Transportation Sales Tax —

County
November 8, 2016 —California General Election

Santa Clara County
Measure B - 2/3 Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

487,539 votes yes (71.74%)

192,057 votes no (28.26%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (1,063/1,063).
  • 724,596 ballots counted.

To relieve traffic, repair potholes; shall VTA enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to: * Repair streets, fix potholes in all 15 cities; * Finish BART extension to downtown San Jose, Santa Clara; * Improve bicycle/pedestrian safety, especially near schools; * Increase Caltrain capacity, easing highway congestion, improving safety at crossings; * Relieve traffic on all 9 expressways, key highway interchanges; * Enhance transit for seniors, students, disabled; Mandating annual audits by independent citizens watchdog committee to ensure accountability?

Information provided by League of Women Voters of Santa Clara County

The Question

To relieve traffic, repair potholes; shall VTA enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to: * Repair streets, fix potholes in all 15 cities; * Finish BART extension to downtown San Jose, Santa Clara; * Improve bicycle/pedestrian safety, especially near schools; * Increase Caltrain capacity, easing highway congestion, improving safety at crossings; * Relieve traffic on all 9 expressways, key highway interchanges; * Enhance transit for seniors, students, disabled; Mandating annual audits by independent citizens watchdog committee to ensure accountability.

The Situation

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent agency, which is responsible for operations, capital projects and planning for county public transportation. About 80% of VTA revenue comes from sales tax with the remaining revenue derived from fares and state and federal grants. Current locally authorized sales tax measures are:

  • 0.50% permanent sales tax approved by county voters in 1976 for transit operations,
  • 0.50% sales tax, 30-years starting in 2006, for transit operations and improvements
  • 0.125% sales tax, 30-years starting in 2008, for partial funding of the BART connection to San Jose.

 

Currently the total state-mandated sales tax rate is 7.50%. State law imposes a 2.00% cap on additional local sales tax. Total county sales tax within this cap is currently 1.25%, making a county-wide sales tax total of 8.75%. (The VTA sales tax total of 1.125% plus the 0.125% county sales tax for general fund health and safety expenditures, approved by the voters in 2012.) The cities of Campbell and San Jose levy an additional 0.25% sales tax for city purposes, thereby, reaching an additional 1.50% in those jurisdictions or a total sales tax of 9.00%.

 

 

 

The Proposal

VTA proposes a new additional 0.50% sales tax which would expire in 30 years for the purposes of reducing traffic and congestion, increasing public transportation and improving roads. VTA will establish guidelines for the administration of the revenues, hold public meetings reporting the status of the projects, arrange for an annual independent audit and appoint an independent citizens’ oversight committee. VTA, with ¾ majority of its board and public notice, may modify the intended programs to address unforeseen circumstances.

Fiscal effect

It is estimated that the proposed sales and use tax will generate a total of $6.3 billion (in 2017 dollars). For some projects, to avoid pay-as-you-go financing, VTA may issue tax revenue bonds pledging tax revenues as security. If approved, sales tax for the county cities and unincorporated areas, excluding San Jose and Campbell, would total 9.25% (1.75% within the 2.00% cap.) In the cities of San Jose and Campbell, the additional 0.50% sales tax would total 9.50% reaching the 2.00% cap.

Supporters say

  • This measure will provide a source of locally controlled funding to relieve traffic congestion and improve safety.
  • Federal and state funds would be lost to the county if this measure does not pass.

 

Opponents say

  • Projects financed by past sales tax measures have been cancelled or delayed.
  • There is no guarantee that the funds will be used as listed. They may be changed by a 3/4 vote of the Board.

 

Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

On your actual ballot, you can vote 'yes' or 'no' on this measure.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION