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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Contra Costa County
Measure X - 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


278,098 votes yes (63.45%)

160,165 votes no (36.55%)

100% of precincts reporting (656/656).

481,355 ballots counted.

To implement a Transportation Expenditure Plan to continue:

* Repairing potholes/fixing roads;

* Improving BART capacity/reliability;

* Improving Highways 680, 80, 24, and 4;

* Enhancing bus/transit including for seniors and people with disabilities;

* Increasing bicycle/pedestrian safety;

* Improving air quality;

* Reducing traffic;

shall voters adopt the ordinance augmenting the sales tax by ½%, raising ninety- seven million dollars for transportation improvements annually for 30 years with independent oversight, audits, and all money benefitting local residents?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The governing body of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (“CCTA”) has proposed a measure asking voters to approve an additional one-half of one percent (0.5%) retail transactions and use tax – a sales tax – to fund certain transportation improvements in Contra Costa County.


The sales tax would be collected in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County, from April 1, 2017, until March 31, 2047. The proceeds from this sales tax would supplement CCTA’s existing one-half of one percent (0.5%) sales tax, which will continue to be collected until March 31, 2034.


According to the measure, proceeds from the sales tax would be used to “implement a Transportation Expenditure Plan to continue repairing potholes/fixing roads; improving BART capacity/reliability; improving Highways 680, 80, 24, and 4; enhancing bus/transit including for seniors and people with disabilities; increasing bicycle/pedestrian safety; improving air quality; [and] reducing traffic.” Sales tax proceeds may only be used for the projects and purposes specified in CCTA’s Transportation Expenditure Plan (“TEP”), which is included in the Voter Information Handbook, and any future amendments to the TEP. According to the TEP, 26.79% of the tax proceeds will fund BART, bus, ferry, and train networks; 23.79% of the tax proceeds will fund fixing local streets and roads; 21.98% of the tax proceeds will fund building sustainable communities and protecting the environment; 20.71% of the tax proceeds will fund reducing congestion and smoothing traffic; 6.23% of the tax proceeds will fund transportation for children, seniors, and people with disabilities; and 0.5% of the tax proceeds will fund administrative costs.


Approval of this measure also would authorize CCTA to issue limited tax bonds to finance projects described in the TEP. The maximum bonded indebtedness may not exceed the estimated proceeds of the sales tax.


According to the TEP, CCTA’s Public Oversight Committee will provide oversight of all expenditures of the sales tax proceeds and will report to the public. This committee will review annual audits, the allocation of the tax proceeds, the performance of projects and programs in the TEP, and compliance by local jurisdictions. Expenditures of sales tax proceeds also would be subject to annual independent audits.


Two-thirds of those voting on the ballot measure must approve the measure for it to pass.


A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing this 0.5% sales tax.

A “no” vote is a vote against authorizing this 0.5% sales tax.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure X to bring badly needed transportation improvements and Get Contra Costa Moving again.


Measure X will:


  • Repair potholes and fix roads
  • Improve BART capacity and reliability
  • Improve highways throughout the county, including 4, 24, 80, and 680
  • Enhance bus and other public transit services for everyone, including seniors and people with disabilities
  • Increase safety for bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce traffic on our roads and highways


Measure X builds on the success of earlier voter-approved transportation measures, which brought us the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, BART extensions, car pool lanes on 80 and 680, and major improvements to Highway 4. Measure X means continuing to make major improvements that smooth traffic flow and help people get around more easily.


Measure X generates $2.9 billion of local funding over 30 years that will help generate tens of millions more in state and federal matching dollars for projects that we determine locally. Once we secure the money, it can’t be touched by Sacramento or Washington.


Measure X is a robust plan to improve transportation, and incorporates strong accountability measures to make sure the money is used as authorized by the voters. It requires independent oversight and financial and performance audits, and every dollar raised by Measure X is required to be spent to benefit local residents.


Every city in Contra Costa County voted to support Measure X Seniors, transit activists, taxpayer advocates, business leaders, environmentalists and neighborhood leaders throughout Contra Costa County all agree: vote YES on Measure X


Vote YES on Measure X: Get Contra Costa Moving!

Cecilia Valdez, Member, West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee
Michael R. McGill, Past President, Contra Costa Taxpayers Association
Joseph A. Ovick, John Muir Land Trust Board Member
Kristin Connelly, President & CEO, East Bay Leadership Council
Candace Andersen, Chair, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors


Arguments AGAINST

With traffic getting worse every day, politicians and bureaucrats are proposing to DOUBLE the current ½ cent sales tax for 30 years–for transportation improvements.


We already pay an extra ½ cent sales tax to fund local transportation improvements. That tax will NOT expire for another 17 years, but these same politicians have already spent most of the future money, using bond-financing schemes. They want to double-down on the failed strategies of the past.


          Measure X will weaken the Urban Limit Lines and promote development that adds to traffic congestion and delays.


          Measure X has no plan to relieve congestion.


          Measure X’s promises are not binding and can be changed by claiming “unforeseen circumstances.”


          Measure X doesn’t protect transit funding, even though the tax falls most heavily on those who need transit the most.


The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is rushing Measure X to the ballot instead of doing the hard work of updating its strategic plan, as it promised in 2004’s Measure J. With 17 years left on the current tax measure, what’s the rush?


Contra Costa needs a transformative 21st Century plan for mobility in the future. Measure X is NOT that plan. Let’s not lock in a 1980’s approach for the next 30 years. We already know that strategy didn’t work. Let’s do more to stop future congestion than just watch it get worse.


We need to tell CCTA its plan is unacceptable. Let’s send the message that they can do better and that WE DESERVE BETTER.


We need a smart plan that responds to the challenges of climate change and helps our communities and our environment. Don’t we deserve to take the time to do it right?


Please join us in voting NO on Measure X


For more information:

David Schonbrunn, President,
Nadine Peyrucain, MSW, Retired Contra Costa County Employee


Replies to Arguments FOR

We’re seniors, transit activists, environmentalists, and taxpayer advocates–and we strongly oppose Measure X.


Measure X would double the transportation sales tax to a whole cent, raising the sales tax rate in some parts of Contra Costa County to 10% (among the highest in the state). But we’d still be mired in traffic congestion.


They say they’re going to “Get Contra Costa Moving again.” But if they could actually “reduce traffic on our roads and highways,” they’d have done it long ago.


We’ve seen these lists of promises before. The last one, 2004’s Measure J, hasn’t made a difference. Traffic is still a mess and it’s getting worse. Doubling the tax to pursue more of the same failed strategy is a dumb idea.


We’re already paying for Measure J through 2034. Measure X would add $2.9 billion atop Measure J’s $2.7 billion.


Independent oversight and audits haven’t prevented bad judgment. The Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the sponsor of Measure X, got entangled in interest rate swap agreements with Wall Street, generating a potential future liability of $43.7 million, approximately a half-year’s sales tax revenues.


We are citizen volunteers, doing our best to counter the millions of taxpayer dollars spent by CCTA to sell this measure to the public. Please don’t buy their slick message!


Measure X is not going to “Get Contra Costa Moving again.” Back to the drawing board with this measure! CCTA needs a fresh, creative response to the challenges of the future.


Vote NO on Measure X.


For more information: and

David Schonbrunn, President,; Environmental Advocate; Transit Advocate
Nadine Peyrucain, MSW, Retired Contra Costa County Employee; Martinez Resident
Michael Arata, CC-COUNT Coordinator;
Taxpayer Advocate; Industrial Consultant; Former Teacher and Coach; Danville Resident
Arne Simonsen, City Clerk, Antioch; Former Member, East Contra Costa Transit Authority; Past President,
East Bay Division, League of California Cities


Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Yes traffic is getting worse, but rather than just kick the can down the road, a YES vote on Measure X actually DOES things we really need: Fill potholes and repair our terrible roads, fix our broken BART system and relieve overcrowding, protect valuable open space, synchronize traffic lights, and provide more public transit options.


But wait, there’s more! Measure X means streets that are more walkable, more bikable, and safer for everyone. Measure X also improves transit for seniors, for people with disabilities, and for youth and school kids.


A YES vote on Measure X is the solution we need today.


How can you be sure Measure X will do what it says? Accountability is really important, so let’s look at what the Transportation Authority has done with our tax dollars. Here’s the short list:


  • 4th Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel
  • Highway 4 widening and safety improvements
  • BART extensions
  • I-680 widening and carpool lanes on 4, 242, 80, & 680
  • Iron Horse Regional Trail
  • Richmond Parkway
  • Paving and pothole repair in every city, town, and unincorporated area
  • Brought in millions in matching funds


We can’t say Measure X is perfect, but it builds on a proven record of success. It will improve everywhere we drive, walk, ride, bus, and take BART, and it includes money for innovations like driverless cars while making better use of existing technology. It helps get Contra Costa moving. Please join us and vote YES on Measure X!

Amy R. Worth, Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner
John Gioia, Contra Costa County Supervisor
Dave Hudson, Chair Contra Costa Transportation Authority
Mary Nejedly Piepho, Contra Costa County Supervisor Dist 3
Dwayne Longmire, Councilmember


Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure X

Organizations (2)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure X

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

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