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February 5, 2013 > Bill introduced to put new transportation measure before voters

Bill introduced to put new transportation measure before voters

California State Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) has introduced legislation to allow Alameda County to seek approval from voters for a transportation sales tax measure to fund a variety of infrastructure projects throughout the County.

Under WieckowskiÕs bill, AB 210, the County would have until January 1, 2017 to place a transportation sales tax ballot measure, at a rate of no more than 0.5 percent, before voters. The CountyÕs Measure B1 on the November 2012 ballot received 66.53 percent voter support, coming just short of the necessary two-thirds threshold needed for approval.

ÒThe result of Measure B1 not only shows that the voters understand how important it is to invest in our infrastructure but that a strong majority supports doing so,Ó Wieckowski said. ÒThe CountyÕs transportation demands are not going to disappear. We must build an environmentally sustainable, multi-modal transportation network. ThatÕs critical for our businesses and residents and to maintain job creation in the County.Ó

The bill is necessary because Alameda County cannot go to the ballot to increase the sales tax without an exemption to exceed the local two percent sales tax cap. Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner, Rob Bonta, Joan Buchanan and Bill Quirk have agreed to co-author AB 210.

Wieckowski authored similar legislation in 2011 that allowed Measure B1 to go to the ballot in November 2012.

Alameda CountyÕs Transportation Expenditure Plan was created after months of public meetings throughout the County. If AB 210 is approved, the specific projects to be funded would be determined by the Alameda County Transportation Commission before the measure goes before voters.

A 2011 Statewide Transportation System Needs Assessment concluded that between 2011 and 2020, the total state transportation system costs will be $538 billion. The estimated revenues from all sources would fund only 45 percent of the statewide needs.

Alameda County is one of 19 counties in the Self-Help Counties Coalition delivering transportation sales tax measures. The 19 counties account for 81 percent of the stateÕs population.

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