Half-cent sales tax in addition to Measure J
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) believes that the future success of Contra Costa County includes offering safe, reliable mobility for all. To provide funding for this goal, on Wednesday, July 20th, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority board – which includes representatives from all parts of the County – voted unanimously to put a tax measure on the November 8 ballot. If approved by voters, the ballot measure will fund transportation improvements throughout Contra Costa County, for the next 30 years. The details are outlined in CCTA’s Transportation Expenditure Plan.
The measure, which will appear on the November 8 ballot, will ask Contra Costa voters to approve a new half-cent sales tax that will generate $2.9 billion in revenues over 30 years to continue to improve the transportation system in Contra Costa. The tax will be in addition to the current half-cent sales tax for transportation in the county. If passed, the sales tax will increase to 9.5 percent in Antioch.
The proposed Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) is the culmination of months of extensive public outreach, stakeholder engagement, and advocate input. The TEP has also been approved by all of Contra Costa’s 19 cities and towns, as well as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. The plan focuses on innovative strategies and new technologies to promote a strong economy, protect the environment, and enhance the quality of life for all of Contra Costa’s diverse communities.
“The CCTA Board is incredibly proud of the TEP,” said Authority Board Special Meeting Chair Don Tatzin. “This is a transportation plan that reflects the values of our diverse region, has garnered broad support across the county, and will guide the next 30 years of transportation planning. If a super majority of voters approve the tax measure in November, the tax revenue will provide necessary funding for the transportation improvements included in the TEP.”
Contra Costa residents have made significant contributions to their transportation infrastructure since 1988, when voters passed Measure C, a half-cent sales tax dedicated to maintaining the ability of residents to travel safely and conveniently throughout the county. Measure C helped fund the BART extension to Pittsburg/Bay Point, built the Richmond Parkway, improved bicycle and pedestrian trails in the county, and invested more than $30 million in senior and disabled transit services.
In 2004, voters passed Measure J, which renewed the half-cent sales tax through 2034. Measure J has helped deliver the Fourth Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, generated $1.3 billion dollars of investments to Highway 4 in Eastern Contra Costa County, including a BART extension to Antioch, and combined with Measure C has provided $286 million to Contra Costa’s cities and towns to maintain and repair local streets.
The TEP includes plans to reduce congestion and smooth traffic; improve BART, bus, ferry, and train service; and fix local streets and roads. It also dedicates unprecedented funding to new technologies and bicycle and pedestrian improvements in every part of the county, to give commuters viable alternatives to driving and in the process help get them out of traffic.
The TEP builds on CCTA’s strong record of fiscal responsibility and includes strong taxpayer protections and accountability. A public oversight committee will provide independent review of all funds raised and spent. It will ensure that funds are spent only in accordance with the voter-approved plan and only to benefit Contra Costa County.
“As we move into the future, Contra Costa’s economic strength is going to depend on people being able to travel quickly and conveniently throughout the county – to jobs, shopping and entertainment destinations, and everywhere else they need to go. This plan – and the measure that will fund the improvements it describes – helps make sure that is a reality in years to come,” said Tatzin.
To find out more information about the transportation improvements planned for the next 30 years – including projects in each of Contra Costa’s 19 cities and towns – and the tax measure, which will fund those plans if approved by voters on November 8, 2016, visit KeepContraCostaMoving.net.
About The Contra Costa Transportation Authority
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. More information about CCTA is available at ccta.net.