MTC Announces Positions on November 2016 Ballot Measures | News

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MTC Announces Positions on November 2016 Ballot Measures

Billions for Transportation, Housing and Infrastructure At Stake
VOTE
Friday, September 30, 2016
Update

Voters across the Bay Area have a chance to take action on two top Bay Area problems at the ballot this November- transportation infrastructure and affordable housing - and to vote down a proposed new hurdle to infrastructure improvements that would undermine local control.

MTC has endorsed 22 local ballot measures sponsored by transit districts, cities and counties, that, if approved by voters, will help fix local streets and roads, provide bike and pedestrian improvements, build affordable housing at a variety of income levels and support efforts to reduce homelessness. MTC also announced its opposition to Proposition 53, a statewide referendum that would amend the California Constitution to require statewide voter approval for certain types of public infrastructure revenue bonds above $2 billion.

Of the 22 local and regional ballot measures, 11 will dedicate revenues solely to transportation or housing needs, including measures in the counties of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara, the City and County of San Francisco, and the cities of Albany, Berkeley, Martinez and Oakland. The measures include approximately $16.4 billion for transportation efforts to extend and rebuild BART, maintain AC Transit operations, improve Muni and Caltrain operations, repair roads, reduce congestion and provide approximately $3 billion for affordable housing and homelessness.

MTC’s Commission also endorsed an additional 11 local funding measures, including proposals from the town of Fairfax, the county of San Mateo and the cities of Belmont, Berkeley, East Palo Alto, Fairfield, Mill Valley, Pleasant Hill, Suisun City, Vacaville and Vallejo. These measures, totaling approximately $2.4 billion, have greater flexibility in the use of funds, although housing and transportation improvements have been identified by the jurisdictions as priorities.

MTC opposes Proposition 53 because it would require statewide voter approval for any public infrastructure revenue bond above $2 billion issued by a join powers authority created by the state or in which the state is a member, even if that bond was meant to fund a local or regional project. In the Bay Area, for example, this could mean that statewide voter approval would be required if the Bay Area Toll Authority were to issue revenue bonds backed by the region's bridge tolls, or for bonds issued by the Transbay Join Powers Authority.

“The many ballot measures focused on transportation and housing indicate how important these issues are to the quality of life across the Bay Area,” said Randy Rentschler, director of Legislation and Public Affairs for MTC. “Proposition 53, meanwhile, would negatively impact local control and create new and significant hurdles to raising funds for infrastructure improvements across the state."

Dedicated Transportation and Housing Measure Details

Click here to view this map of dedicated transportation and housing ballot measures endorsed by MTC as a stand-alone PDF. 

BART Infrastructure Bond

This 30-year, $3.5 billion bond will fund major upgrades to BART’s train control system (improving service frequency), as well as its tracks, power systems, stations, tunnels and other infrastructure. It will also fund projects to improve access to stations and relieve overcrowding, including preliminary engineering work for a second Transbay Tube.

AC Transit Parcel Tax Renewal

In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, AC Transit is proposing to extend an existing parcel tax for 20 years beyond its current sunset date of July 1, 2019. The current tax of $96 per year, passed in November 2008, provides about $30 million per year for operations and maintenance of AC Transit.

Contra Costa Transportation Authority

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is proposing a 30-year half-cent sales tax, which will generate approximately $2.9 billion to fund various transportation projects. These revenues will support improvements to BART, bus, ferry and train networks, fix local streets and roads, and reduce congestion and smooth traffic.

City of Oakland Infrastructure Bond

The city of Oakland is proposing a 10-year, $600 million infrastructure bond that includes $350 million for transportation (street, sidewalk, pedestrian, and bicycle and traffic safety improvements), $150 million for facilities and community services (libraries, parks and recreation, fire and police services), and $100 million for housing and anti-displacement projects.

Alameda County Affordable Housing Bond

Alameda County is proposing a 25-year, $580 million affordable housing bond aimed at reducing displacement and providing affordable rental units for low-income residents, seniors and veterans, and supportive housing for the homeless.

San Francisco Charter Amendment for Homelessness and Transportation

San Francisco has placed a Charter Amendment on the ballot to create a Homeless Housing and Services Fund ($1.2 billion over 25 years) and a Transportation Investment Fund ($2.5 billion over 25 years)

These revenues will address homelessness, bring the San Francisco transportation network into a better state of repair, and fund Muni, BART and Caltrain.

Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority

The Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is placing a 30-year half-cent sales tax measure on the ballot, which will generate up to $6.5 billion for various transportation projects. These revenues will provide funding for numerous regional projects such as the final leg of the BART extension to Silicon Valley and Caltrain grade separations and capacity improvements, as well as high priority local street and road repairs.

Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Bond

Santa Clara County has placed a 30-year, $950 million affordable housing bond on the ballot to address the county’s significant homelessness and affordable housing challenges. The funds will support extremely low-income housing, very low-income housing, housing assistance for moderate income home buyers and assistance for moderate income first-time home buyers. 

City of Albany Sidewalk Repair Special Parcel Tax

The Alameda County city of Albany has placed on the ballot a parcel tax (Measure P1) dedicated to sidewalk improvements that would raise approximately $200,000 per year for 10 years, for a total of approximately $2 million. Units owned and occupied by low-income persons are exempt, and there is also a rebate for low-income households that rent.

City of Berkeley Gross Receipts Tax for Affordable Housing

Berkeley has also placed on the ballot a gross receipts tax on rental income in order to generate funding for affordable housing. It is estimated to raise approximately $4 million per year, helping to finance an estimated 45 new affordable rental units per year. Over a period of 30 years this measure would raise approximately $120 million and produce 1,350 new affordable rental units.

City of Martinez Road Improvement and Maintenance Measure

The Contra Costa County city of Martinez has placed a special 0.5 percent 15-year sales tax on the ballot, with the funds dedicated to road maintenance and improvements. The measure would raise a total of approximately $30 million.

Local Ballot Measures With Broad Eligibility

The below exhibit shows 11 additional local ballot measures endorsed by MTC where jurisdictions have greater flexibility in the use of funds, although housing and transportation improvements were identified as priority investment areas.

Exhibit 2: Bay Area Local Ballot Measures — General & Special Taxes & Bond Measures

Jurisdiction & Measure

Funding Type

Total Revenue Estimate

Eligible Expenditures

City of Belmont (Measure I)

Sales Tax 
(30 years)

$39 million

 

Broad eligibility; street repairs listed as a priority

City of Berkeley (Measure T1)

Bond

(40 years)

$100 million

Capital improvements, streets, sidewalks and storm drain upgrades listed as priorities

City of East Palo Alto (Measure P)

Sales Tax 
(Permanent)

$54 million

(30 year estimate)

Broad eligibility; street repairs listed as a priority

Town of Fairfax

Sales Tax
(10-year extension)

$6.7 million

Broad eligibility; sidewalk repairs, pedestrian trails and street repaving listed as priority

City of Fairfield (Measure P)

Sales Tax
(15-year extension)

$240 million

Broad eligibility; street repairs listed as a priority

City of Mill Valley (Measure H)

Municipal Service Tax
(10 year extension)

$18 million

Special tax; Dedicated to fire safety, street maintenance and road repair

City of Pleasant Hill (Measure K)

Sales Tax
(20 years)

$80 million

Broad eligibility; including street repairs and bike paths

County of San Mateo (Measure K)

Sales Tax
(20-year extension)

$1.6 billion

Broad eligibility; affordable housing and transit services listed as priorities

City of Suisun (Measure S)

Sales Tax
(10 years)

$18 million

Broad eligibility; including street repair and maintenance

City of Vacaville (Measure M)

Sales Tax
(20-year extension)

$300 million

Broad eligibility; including street repair

City of Vallejo (Measure V)

Sales Tax

(Permanent)

$420 million

(30 year estimate)

Broad eligibility; road repairs listed as priority

For further details on the individual ballot measures and MTC’s rationale for support, review MTC’s staff’s memos to the Commission in July and September. Additional information on MTC’s opposition to Proposition 53 is available here.

Thank you for endorsing Albany Measure P1, MTC. It would be helpful to voters to post the designation for each ballot measure endorsed. Regarding P1, there are some errors and omissions in the description above. It would raise approximately $200,000/year for a total of $2 million over ten years. P1 includes an exemption for low-income households that own their home as stated, and it also includes rebates for low-income households that rent their home.
Thank you for your comment on the Albany parcel tax. We amended the article to reflect the correct amount to be raised by the measure, and also added a note regarding the rebates for low-income renters. We are currently compiling ballot measure designations to be included as a separate attachment to the story and will provide an update when completed. Thank you again.

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November 2016 Transportation and Housing Ballot Measures Endorsed by MTC
View a map of November 2016 Transportation and Housing Ballot Measures Endorsed by MTC