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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

Sonoma County Transportation Authority District
Measure DD Ordinance - 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

185,307 votes yes (70.95%)

75,878 votes no (29.05%)

100% of precincts reporting (668/668).

272,244 ballots counted.

Without raising taxes, shall the Sonoma County Transportation Authority implement the Go Sonoma Act to repair potholes; reduce congestion; make biking and walking safer; expand local bus service; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; improve evacuation routes; and enhance transportation services for students and seniors by continuing, for 20 years, the current 1/4-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation, providing approximately $26 million annually?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote on Measure DD will authorize SCTA to extend the existing tax through March 31, 2045.

NO vote means

A “no” vote on Measure DD will prohibit SCTA from extending the tax, and the existing tax would continue in effect until March 31, 2025.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Source: Office of the Sonoma County Counsel

County Counsel’s Impartial Analysis of Measure DD

Measure DD asks voters whether the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (“SCTA”) should extend its existing ¼-cent sales tax for an additional 20 years through March 31, 2045. Measure DD would continue to be used exclusively to fund transportation improvements within Sonoma County (including fixing local streets; improving transportation corridors; increasing bus transit service and improving alternatives to cars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and improving safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers), as set forth in detail in the Expenditure Plan. The SCTA Board of Directors placed Measure DD on the ballot. The full text of Measure DD, including the Expenditure Plan, is published in this County Voter Information Guide.

SCTA is a local transportation authority formed pursuant to the Local Transportation Authority and Improvement Act (California Public Utilities Code § 180000 and following).

Voters approved the existing ¼-cent sales tax on November 2, 2004 (former Measure M). Over the past 16 years, the tax has funded the widening of Highway 101 from Petaluma to Windsor and related interchange projects; local street improvement projects; multiple trail projects; and new bus purchases for various transit agencies, among other things. The current tax will expire on March 31, 2025. If approved, Measure DD would extend the tax (with no increase in rate) for an additional 20 years, providing approximately $26,000,000 annually. The tax would continue to be collected as it is now, in the same manner as a state-imposed sales tax.

Measure DD would continue the special purpose tax, and monies collected will be placed in a special fund and may only be used for the purposes set forth in the Expenditure Plan. The Expenditure Plan includes four programs in two categories. Sixty-five percent of the proceeds will be used in to Fix Roads, Fill Potholes, Improve Safety and Usability for All. The remaining 35% will be allocated to Improve Alternatives to Cars and Fight Climate Change. Under the first category, funding would be provide to: smooth and maintain roads; and move traffic and improve safety (including projects to: repair potholes; reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; improve connectivity; and improve traffic flow and safety for all users). Under the second category, funding would be provided to: increase bus service, affordability, and connections for the first / last mile; and to build bikeways and pathways.

Measure DD would continue the accountability safeguards in the existing tax which include annual audits by an independent accountant and independent oversight by a Citizens Advisory Committee established by the SCTA Board of Directors. Additionally, SCTA would also be required prepare a Strategic Plan before December 31, 2023, if voters approve Measure DD.

The tax proposed by Measure DD will become effective only if approved by a two-thirds majority of those voting on the measure. If approved, Measure DD would go into effect on April 1, 2025.

A “yes” vote on Measure DD will authorize SCTA to extend the existing tax through March 31, 2045.

A “no” vote on Measure DD will prohibit SCTA from extending the tax, and the existing tax would continue in effect until March 31, 2025.

BRUCE D. GOLDSTEIN County Counsel 
By: s/ Robert Pittman Assistant County Counsel 

Financial effect

Source: Office of the Sonoma County Auditor - Controller - Treasurer - Tax Collector

County Auditor’s Fiscal Impact Statement — Measure DD

This measure would continue for a period of 20 years the one-quarter of one cent per dollar (0.25%) sales tax currently collected in Sonoma County under Measure M approved by Sonoma County voters in November 2004 and set to expire on March 31, 2025.

Based on actual receipts for Measure M from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration for the period of July 2019 through June 2020, the sales tax would yield approximately $26.0 million each year for transportation improvements in Sonoma County. The imposition of tax from the measure would be operative on April 1, 2025, with the first full year of revenues impacting the budget for fiscal year 2025-26. Based on the 2020-21 adopted budget for the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (“SCTA”), revenues from the measure would remain consistent with current Measure M funding.

Net Proceeds from this measure will be allocated to the following four programs: 38% to the County and cities within the County for repair and maintenance of existing roads; 27% to fund projects related to transportation safety improvements and efficiency; 23% to increase bus service, affordability and the first/last mile and commuter programs managed by SCTA; and 12% to fund projects expanding and enhancing bikeways and pathways. Allocation of proceeds for projects will be approved by SCTA and advised by the Citizens Advisory Committee.

This measure allocates 38% of net proceeds to the County and cities to repair and maintain existing roads. Funds are allocated to the County and cities by a 50% population/50% road mile formula. Annual estimated revenue is as follows: 

Jurisdiction Proceeds
Cloverdale $157,393
Cotati $125,580
Healdsburg $215,865
Petaluma $966,615
Rohnert Park $616,221
Santa Rosa $2,781,097
Sebastopol $126,852
Sonoma $181,829
Windsor $455,837
County  $4,252,711
Total $9,880,000

 

This measure allocates 23% of net proceeds to expand and enhance local bus operations; 20% to local transit operators based on a service area population formula and 3% to SCTA for the management of programs that support fisrt/last mile commuter programs. Annual estimated revenue is as follows:

Entity Service Area
Population %
Transit Services First/Last Mile Program
Petaluma Transit 12.43%  $646,360 -  
Santa Rosa CityBus 35.08% $1,824,160

-  

Sonoma County Transit 52.49% $2,729,480

-  

SCTA na -   $780,000
Total 100.00% $5,200,000

$780,000

 

SCTA will be responsible for developing and updating a strategic plan to guide the remaining allocation decisions within the above programs.

The Citizens Advisory Committee that created the SCTA will serve as an independent oversight body that will advise the SCTA on the administration of the measure and will report to the public via annual audits and reports on the measure.

Use of sales tax proceeds from this measure for Administration costs will be limited to 1% of actual proceeds collected.

In accordance with the Elections Code, the scope of this fiscal impact statement has been limited to the measure’s effect on revenues and expenditures. It does not address larger countywide fiscal issues such as the measure’s effect on the overall County economy.

s/ Erick Roeser 
Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors. 

Argument in Favor of Measure DD 

Measure DD will provide the dedicated funding needed to repair our rural roads and city streets, improve bus services, reduce traffic congestion and build more bikeways and pathways throughout Sonoma County – without raising taxes.

Measure DD, the “Go Sonoma Act,” continues the legacy of voterapproved Measure M, which has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to fully fund the Highway 101 widening through Sonoma County, with the last segment through the City of Petaluma on-time and on-budget to open a 3rd lane in both directions by 2022.

Measure DD includes detailed plans that show exactly how the money will be spent. Independent audits will ensure all funds are spent as promised, and there are strict provisions in place to ensure not one penny can be taken or reallocated by cities, the county or state for other programs.

Funds raised from Measure DD will be spent on our transportation infrastructure, with the largest percentages going to rural/unincorporated areas and every town/city in Sonoma County for filling potholes and repairing roads and streets. Through a competitive process, additional dollars will be allocated to projects that move traffic and improve safety; improve bus service; and build more bikeways and pathways to take more cars off our roads, reducing greenhouse gases.

Recent disasters are a stark reminder of how important it is to have a strong transportation infrastructure: by improving narrow roads and major thoroughfares, first responders and residents can better move in and out during times of an emergency.

Measure DD will create local, good-paying jobs through millions of dollars in transportation construction projects throughout Sonoma County – strengthening our local economy and transportation system alike.

Measure DD is the best path forward to strengthen our transportation infrastructure without any increase in taxes.

Vote Yes on the 21st century transportation system we need.

Vote Yes on Measure DD.

GoSonomaAct.com

TRANSPORT. & LAND-USE COALITION
s/ L. Willard Richards, Chair

SO CO BICYCLE COALITION
s/ Eris Weaver, Executive Director

OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 3
s/ Michael Pickens, District Rep.

ENGINEERING CONTRACTORS
s/ Lacey Torkelson Smith, Board

SONOMA COUNTY CONSERVATION ACTION
s/ Michael Allen, Chair 

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Argument Against Measure DD 

Join us in telling Sonoma County officials: “No – Not Now!” to higher taxes in this time of uncertainty and chaos. Vote No on Measure DD.

Don’t they realize that people who lost their jobs, businesses that are closing, farmers struggling to survive, seniors, and students all need help, especially financially? They don’t need more taxes! Adding a burden of any kind of tax is the last thing they need.

The pandemic and recession have caused record high unemployment, and tens of thousands of Sonoma County residents can barely pay their monthly living expenses.

We have to live within our means and so should County government. They need to tighten their belt, adjust their spending like the rest of us have to do, and not ask for more taxes this year.

Our opposition is not targeted at just one tax. We oppose all of them. 2020 is clearly the wrong time to ask voters for more money.

Any new taxes or extensions of existing ones should only be considered when people are back to work and businesses have re-opened. We are united and stand strong in our opposition to taxes that will cause further damage to Sonoma County’s furloughed workers, farmers, students, seniors, and businesses.

When we say “No – Not Now,” we are hearing strong agreement from others in the community who want more relief for those most impacted by COVID-19. They don’t want additional financial burdens brought on by tax measures that either create new taxes or extend existing ones to as far out as 2045!

Elected officials should stop levying taxes that may push people into poverty and cause more businesses and non-profits to close forever, creating more job losses and higher unemployment.

Send government a clear, strong message: Vote No on all tax measures on November 3rd.

NORTH BAY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
s/ Cynthia Murray, CEO

NORTH COAST BUILDERS EXCHANGE
s/ Keith Woods, Chief Executive Officer

SONOMA COUNTY FARM BUREAU
s/ Tawny Tesconi, Executive Director 

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure DD 

Join us in telling Sonoma County officials: “No, Not Now” to higher taxes in this time of uncertainty and chaos. Vote No on Measure DD.

It may be unintentional, but DD has become a “bait and switch” measure that is being deceptively promoted. It promises one thing and delivers something entirely different.

Proponents describe Measure DD as an extension of Measure M, passed in 2004, which doesn’t expire until 2025. Don’t be fooled. Measure DD is a new tax, projected to cost taxpayers $520 million from 2025-2045.

Original Measure M allocated 40% of sales tax money to widening Highway 101 plus 40% to improving local streets and roads. Alternatively, DD allocates 38% to street repair and maintenance, plus 27% to move traffic and improve safety. DD isn’t an extension of an existing Measure – it has a different name and an entirely different expenditure plan.

It is unlikely this new tax will do anything for the environment, or increase public transit use, since it was developed well before the impact of COVD19 hit the North Bay, changing how and where people work.

There are four years remaining on the Measure M tax, so we don’t need to vote on a new tax now. Measure DD should come back in two years when the economy has hopefully improved. That will also give transportation officials time to develop a better plan that meets our County’s real-life transportation needs, which Measure DD does not.

Say “No, Not Now” to Measure DD.

NORTH BAY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
s/ Cynthia Murray, CEO

SONOMA COUNTY FARM BUREAU
s/ Tawny Tesconi, Executive Director

NCBE
s/ Keith Woods, CEO

SANTA ROSA METRO CHAMBER
s/ Peter Rumble, CEO

CAN!
s/ Lisa Graetz, Board Member

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure DD 

Measure DD will not raise taxes now, nor will it increase taxes when it takes effect in 2025, years after we should have a safe and effective vaccine for Covid-19. At that point, it extends voter-approved taxes dedicated to transportation improvements throughout Sonoma County.

Measure DD continues the legacy of voter-approved Measure M, which efficiently and transparently made important transportation improvements in Sonoma County, including the long-sought goal of a three-lane Highway 101, with the last segment through the City of Petaluma on-time, on-budget and opening in 2022. Imagine how unsafe and impacted Sonoma County would have been in the fires and rebuild had we been limited to two lanes!

The most significant allocation of dollars from Measure DD would be used to smooth and repair rural roads and city streets; alleviate congestion by investing in projects that move traffic and improve safety; enhance bus service that will help improve first/last mile connections; and invest in bikeways and pathways both in rural, unincorporated areas and each of Sonoma County’s nine cities.

Measure DD picks up where Measure M leaves off in 2025 without increasing taxes, and will provide needed money for local transportation projects.

There is strong agreement in our community about the dire need to repair our roads and invest in a 21st century transportation system that works for everyone, particularly those who walk, bike or drive on our roads, streets, bike lanes or sidewalks each day. For all residents tired of living with the patchwork of rough roadways, they agree: Yes on Measure DD!

GoSonomaAct.com

TRANSPORT. & LAND-USE COALITION
s/ L. Willard Richards, Chair

SO CO BICYCLE COALITION 
s/ Eris Weaver, Executive Director

OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 3
s/ Michael Pickens, District Rep

ENGINEERING CONTRACTORS
s/ Lacey Torkelson Smith, Board

s/ Herman G. Hernandez
Sonoma County Board of Education Trustee

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

More information

News (1)

Additional Info

Entities Remaining Neutral or Taking No Position

(Explanation for the absence of major entities from the lists of Yes or No endorsements)

The Sonoma County Taxpayers Association is taking no position on Measure DD. 
http://sonomacountytaxpayers.org/november-2020-ballot-measures/

Contact Info

Yes on Measure DD
Yes on Measure DD Committee – Keep Us Moving
No on Measure DD
Not available.
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