Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Antioch Council places sales tax increase on November ballot, would permanently double to one cent

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Council wants to split revenue with 80% going for police services

By Alexandra Riva

At their meeting Tuesday, July 24, the Antioch City Council voted to place a ballot measure that would extend and double the transaction and use tax, or sales tax permanently from a half-cent to one cent. With the five affirmative votes, residents will now have the opportunity to vote on the measure as it will appear on their ballots in November. 1 Cent Sales Tax Ballot Measure Staff Report

As it stands, the fiscal impact of Measure C’s one-half cent sales tax measure, which generates $6.7 million in revenue. Most of this revenue is currently being spent on the Antioch Police Department. Through the extension and increase, the measure could have the potential to generate $14 million in revenue for the City’s General Fund, each year. 1 Cent Sales Tax Draft Spending Priorities

Unlike Measure C, with its seven-year sunset clause, resulting in the sales tax expiring in April 2020, the one-cent sales tax measure if passed, would be permanent. It could only be removed by another vote of the people.

The drafted version of the measure allocates 60% of revenue for the maintenance of public safety, 20% for youth services, and the remaining 20% for supporting quality of life and fiscal stability and accountability.

During the meeting the council discussed changing these amounts from percentages of 60-20-20 to an 80-10-10 allocation. This 80-10-10 split was advocated for by both Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock, who included it in her motion, and Mayor Sean Wright during his comments. However, it is not part of the actual ballot language and future councils will not be bound by those amounts and can spend the funds in any way they deem necessary.

Ogorchock wasn’t happy that it was the first time she and the rest of the council had a chance to consider the ballot measure.

The proposal was the result of an ad hoc committee consisting of Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Councilwoman Monica Wilson, and input from the public, including phone and online surveys, and the city’s “Join the Conversation campaign” on the city’s website and Facebook page.

“I want to thank my colleagues for going on this adventure, which we’ve been on for almost a year-and-a-half… in gathering data,” Thorpe said. Over 2,000 individual residents gave input on their priorities during the effort, he mentioned.

He responded to Ogorchock’s concern by saying “we did get an update from our pollster, back in January… we conducted this poll recently and it was concluded a couple weeks ago. So, it wasn’t that we were trying to hide anything.”

“It is a recommendation based on the data we collected,” Thorpe added.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno said he supported the measure because he wanted to hire more police officers, “which we can’t do with Measure C.”

Wright argued for the increase, comparing Antioch to Brentwood, responding to concerns of why the neighboring city doesn’t do like they do in Brentwood. “The people of Brentwood have taxed themselves” an extra $3,000 per year per home to pay for city services, he said.

“We have an opportunity, tonight to tax ourselves… to drive Antioch to be the city we want it to be,” Wright added.

The council’s unanimous vote only places the measure on the November ballot for the voters to decide, and nothing more.

Of those who offered public comment on the issue, most seemed to support the implementation of an increased tax rate for an extended period of time and urged the council to place the measure on the ballot.

Calls were made for the potential funds generated from the measure to be allocated to the police department and public safety. Additionally, funding from this measure, intended to improve the quality of life of residents, particularly Antioch youth, was another concern among the members of the public, who spoke

Samson Knight, an Antioch resident, expressed his support for the measure with particular interest in funding for quality of life services.

“I think that these quality of life services, especially youth programs, would be a great boon to our city. I think the proportional gain of resources for these programs would be much greater than an equivalent amount given to such a large financial entity such as APD,” said Knight.

Funding for the Antioch police department, as a result of this measure in its current state, was around $7 million, which has allowed the city to hire a net seven additional officers, and did tremendous good for the city, according to some speakers. One such community member was Steve Aiello, president of the Antioch Police Officers’ Association, who spoke in support of the measure.

“As you can see, the issue of public safety is directly related to the quality of life…It is important to note that even though we have made great strides in hiring officers, we still need more,” said Aiello.

However, other speakers were not happy with the proposed tax increase.

“I don’t even really understand this,” said Beverly Knight, Samson’s mother. “I know that the residents of Antioch don’t have a problem with continuing with Measure C. They want a fully staffed police department. We need people to feel safe to come out of their homes…when using the parks. We want a fully funded police department before we mess with Measure C. That’s what people voted for.”

To date, the city has added a net seven police officers out of the 22 promised by the then-mayor and council in 2013, if Measure C passed.

Although it’s a tax increase the council gave it the title of “City of Antioch Quality of Life Measure.”

The ballot language adopted will read, “To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability and police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality and safety; repairing streets; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; restoring youth after-school/summer programs; and other essential services; shall the measure be adopted approving an ordinance to renew the sales tax at the one-cent rate, raising approximately $14,000,000 annually until ended by voters, requiring independent annual financial audits and all expenditures available for public review?”

The election will be held on Tuesday, November 6.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch Council to consider placing another sales tax increase on November ballot, doubling Measure C’s tax

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Total would be one cent instead of the current half-cent sales tax

By Allen Payton

Before the city has fulfilled its 2013 commitment from Measure C’s half-cent sales tax to “immediately” hire 22 additional police officers, the Antioch Council will consider a staff recommendation place another sales tax measure on the November ballot to increase it to a full cent at their meeting on Tuesday night, July 24th. The increase if passed would begin two years before Measure C expires in April 2021. If the measure fails the city will have nnother chance to place it on the ballot, again in November 2020. 1 Cent Sales Tax Ballot Measure Staff Report

When the promise was made in the summer of 2013, by then-Mayor Wade Harper and the four members of the council, which included both current Council Members Monica Wilson and Tony Tiscareno, there were 89 sworn officers on the force and being paid for out of the city’s General Fund budget. To date Antioch has added a net eight sworn police officers to the force for a total of 97 sworn officers, from the Measure C revenue. However, city staff, at the direction of the council, and even the Citizens’ Sales Tax Oversight Committee, continue to use the base figure of 82 sworn officers, which is the total that were on the force at the time the measure passed in November 2013. The department staffing was reduced by seven officers in those several months due to retirement and other reasons.

So, while the council owes the taxpayers and residents of Antioch a total of 111 sworn officers from Measure C funds, their claim is that they only owe 104 officers.

According to the staff report for Tuesday night’s meeting agenda, Measure C currently generates $7.2 million per year for the city’s General Fund. Revenue from the proposed sales tax increase proposed would generate approximately double that amount and would be spent on a variety of items in the budget.

The draft proposed spending priorities include 60% to support public safety, including maintaining and restoring neighborhood police patrols, 20% to support youth services and 20% to support quality of life, fiscal stability and accountability. That means paying off the city’s pension debt. What the staff report doesn’t include is any commitment to the number of additional sworn police officers the tax increase will pay for.  1 Cent Sales Tax Draft Spending Priorities

The proposed ballot measure would have the following title:

To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability and police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality and safety; repairing streets; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; restoring youth after-school/summer programs; and other essential services; shall the measure be adopted approving an ordinance to renew the sales tax at the one-cent rate, raising approximately $14,000,000 annually until ended by voters, requiring independent annual financial audits and all expenditures available for public review?

The council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 200 H Street, between W. 2nd and 3rd Streets in downtown Antioch. It can be viewed live on local cable TV channels or via the city’s website.

To see the complete council meeting agenda, click here.

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Call for Applications: San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, Independent Citizens Oversight Committee

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Deadline Extended – Due April 18, 2018

Measure AA is expected to generate $25 million annually for San Francisco Bay restoration over the next 20 years. Funding from this voter-approved measure will allow for the restoration of thousands of acres of natural habitat for wildlife, support our local economy, improve access to public lands, address flooding issues, and create thousands of new jobs.

The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority’s Governing Board seeks six individuals to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. The Committee has three main roles:

  1. Annually review the Authority’s conformance with Measure AA.
  2. Review the Authority’s audits and expenditure and financial reports.
  3. Publish an annual report of its findings, which will be posted on the Authority’s website.

The Board seeks committee members from all four Bay Area regions (North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and West Bay) with special subject matter expertise. Each member of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee must possess expertise in one or more of the following:

  • Water quality
  • Pollution reduction
  • Habitat restoration
  • Flood protection
  • Improvement of public access to the San Francisco Bay
  • Financing of these objectives.

Ineligibility Factors for Membership

No person may serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee who:

  • Is an elected official or government employee;
  • Has had or could have a financial interest in a decision of the Authority; or
  • Is affiliated with an organization associated with a member of the Governing Board.

Apply to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee by April 18, 2018.

Application Submittal, Materials, and Deadline

Send your application to karen.mcdowell@sfestuary.org by April 18, 2018. Electronic signatures and scanned signatures will be accepted.

For more information, visit the SF Bay Restoration Authority’s website or contact Karen McDowell, Project Manager, SF Bay Restoration Authority or 415-778-6685.

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Contra Costa Taxpayers Association East announces inaugural meeting March 28

Friday, March 9th, 2018

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association (“CoCoTax”) is pleased to announce the formation of a new East Contra Costa chapter. To celebrate, CoCoTax East will hold its inaugural public meeting on Wednesday, March 28 with a luncheon meeting at Vic Stewart’s Restaurant at 2270 Balfour Road in Brentwood.

CoCoTax promotes “good government at affordable cost” and is well known as a “tax watchdog” organization. But, according to Jack Weir, CoCoTax President, “CoCoTax is much more than a tax watchdog. Good tax receipts flow from well designed, developed and managed cities and counties. As such, CoCoTax seeks to work with residents, businesses, and local government to grow the tax base and provide for a quality lifestyle for residents through economic development, prudent zoning, and other strategic planning tools.”

The first CoCoTax East meeting will focus on Economic Development in East County and will feature three East County speakers:

Ron Reagan, is owner and President of Reagan Management Services in Brentwood and a member of the Contra Costa Airport Commission; Ron will address the issue of economic growth at and around the Byron Airport.

Gus Vina, Brentwood City Manager will discuss the economic development element of the City’s Strategic Plan.

Kevin Romick, Oakley City Councilman and member of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority board of directors, will highlight Oakley’s development progress and discuss the present and future infrastructure needs and plans in East County.

The luncheon is open to CoCoTax members and the public. People wishing to attend can register online at www.cocotax.org/event-2851592 or by contacting Denise Sheehan at denise@cocotax.org.

The cost to attend is $35; alternately, attendees can attend the luncheon for free by becoming a CoCoTax member for $37.50, a 50% discount on their first year’s membership.

For more information about CoCoTax or the luncheon, please contact Hal Bray at hal.bray@pacbell.net or 925-286-4905.

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It’s time Antioch started using correct, honest figures for Measure C police staffing and funding

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

The City of Antioch’s 2016-2017 Measure C Annual Status Report

By Allen Payton, Publisher

The City of Antioch’s 2016-2017 Measure C Annual Status Report was recently received in the mail and I took the time to read it. Unfortunately, what I discovered was it provides false information to the public. Now, I don’t blame city staff. They’re merely reporting and acting on the direction of the city council. But, it’s the direction of the past mayor and city council which chose to play games and manipulate the police staffing numbers and budget to make things look better than they really are. So, it’s time the new mayor, mayor pro tem and council gave new direction to the city staff to use the correct and honest figures for Measure C.

Mayor and Council Promised 22 More Sworn Officers

Here are the facts, again. In the ballot argument for Measure C, signed by then-Mayor Wade Harper and the rest of the city council at that time, which included current Council Members Monica Wilson and Tony Tiscareno, it stated:

“A Yes on Measure C will allow us to immediately hire 22 new police officers, decreasing the time it takes to respond to 911 calls. It will also provide funds to reduce the number of gang-related homicides, assaults and robberies.

Our police force has dwindled from 126 officers four years ago to only 89 today. 911 response times have increased and violent crime is up 30%. We feel unsafe in our homes and are in constant fear of becoming victims of crime.”

We Had 89 Sworn Officers

The ballot argument concluded with and was signed by the following:

“Antioch needs funds now to lower crime and to cleanup dilapidated properties. Your voting Yes on Measure C will give us the financial boost we need to turn Antioch around. Thank you.

Sergeant Tom Fuhrmann, President, Antioch Police Officers’ Association; Brittney Gougeon, Founder, Take Back Antioch; Joyann Motts, President, Antioch Unified School Board; Hans Ho, Past Chair, Antioch Crime Prevention Commission/ Neighborhood Watch Coordinator; Antioch City Council; Wade Harper, Mayor of Antioch/ Retired Police Lieutenant”

They Owed Us 111 Total Sworn Officers

My math tells me that would bring the total to 111 sworn officers (89 + 22). The ballot was written and submitted in either July or August 2013 in time for the sample ballots to be printed and mailed to the voters. So we had 89 sworn officers on the force being paid for out of the budget before the funds from Measure C began to be collected.

Please read the entire ballot statement and arguments, here – http://www.smartvoter.org/2013/11/05/ca/cc/meas/C/.

They Chose to Use 82 Sworn Officers as the Base, Instead

However, by the time Measure C passed in November, the Antioch Police Department had lost seven more officers reducing the force to just 82 sworn officers. So, that was the figure the mayor and council at that time voted and gave direction to city staff to use as the base figure. Adding 22 more officers only gives we the taxpaying and voting public a total of 104 sworn officers – which is the figure the council and staff have accounted for in next year’s budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

That was wrong and dishonest of them to do, because the budget already included enough for 89 sworn officers and Measure C is supposed to pay for 22 “new officers” according to the ballot argument.

Council Member Lori Ogorchock was elected in November 2014 and Mayor Sean Wright and Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe were elected last November long after Measure C passed. But they all inherited the commitments and promises of the past council to give us the 22 additional officers from Measure C, on top of the 89 we had at the time the ballot argument was written and signed, and “immediately.”

Past Police Chief Allan Cantando and current Chief Tammany Brooks have said they’ve been doing everything they can to continue to add officers to the force and have hired 49 sworn police officers since the passage of Measure C, according to Brooks’ portion of the report. However, due to past council actions including the very rich 3% at age 50 retirement benefit – which was fortunately changed in 2012 for new hires – and due to other attrition, the department has lost 35 sworn officers during that time. That brings the total number of sworn officers to just 96. That was news to me as I was under the impression we had reached and remained at the 100-officer level.

They Owe Use 15 More Sworn Police Officers

That’s just seven more officers than the city had in 2013 when Measure C was placed on the ballot. Here we are over four years later, certainly not the “immediately” as the then-mayor and council promised us. The current council owes us another 15 sworn officers paid for by Measure C funds based on simple math of 111 – 96 = 15.

Brook’s comment that “our net gain is currently 14,” is only correct when comparing it to what has happened “Since the passage of Measure C in 2013,” as the first sentence of his comments stated. It’s not correct when comparing that figure to how many officers we were actually promised if we passed Measure C.

Only seven of those 14 sworn officers are supposed to be paid for from Measure C funds and the fact is the city has only gained a net seven additional officers, not 14 from the revenue generated by the extra half-cent sales tax in Antioch.

It all goes back to the number of officers the budget was paying for at the time the ballot argument was written and signed, and the promise made which was 89.

The worst part is, even before they have given us the 22 additional officers, the previous mayor and council, of which Ogorchock was a part, voted unanimously to give pay raises to the police and the rest of the city staff totaling $9.2 million in contracts that run one year beyond the sunset of Measure C. (They did so on Election Night, by the way after it was too late for the voters to know what was in the pay and benefits packages before they voted). The additional half-cent sales tax only lasts until 2020. The contracts run through 2021. (See related articles, here and here)

Now They’re Asking for a One-Cent Sales Tax

Yet, now city staff is already asking for we the people to consider voting, not for a renewal of the half-cent sales tax, but an increase to a one-cent sales tax when Measure C expires. Among other questions about city services and issues facing our community, a recent phone survey, approved  by City Manager Ron Bernal and paid for out of his discretionary funds, asked residents if we would support that. The audacity to even us ask to consider supporting a renewal of the half-cent sales tax, much less doubling it, before fulfilling the promise and commitment made to we the people under Measure C and having spent $9.2 million on pay raises, seriously had me stunned.

They’ve Only Budgeted for 104 Sworn Officers

The last part of Chief Brooks final sentence in the report is correct: “As of June 30, 2017, $2,947,361 remains unspent pending allocation to enhancing Police and Code Enforcement services, as promised to voters.” At least he recognizes that a promise was made to the voters. But, I challenge the amount remaining unspent, since that figure should be much higher if the proper figure of 111 sworn officers was accounted for, not 103 currently and 104 in next year’s budget.

We just need the city council to remember what that promise actually was – 22 additional officers on top of the 89 sworn we already had – and ensure we are provided the 111 sworn officers Antioch needs to fight and bring down crime, which is supposed to be their highest priority. It’s time to put our money where their mouths are.

One Promise Broken, Another Can Still Be Kept

Obviously, they haven’t been able to keep the part of the promise of hiring the 22 additional officers “immediately”. But, the current city council can fulfill the promise of 111 total sworn officers as we are due, by giving new direction to staff to use the correct, honest figure of 89 sworn officers as the base not 82.

What’s that old saying – figures lie and liars figure? The figure of 82 sworn officers the city has been using since 2013 is just plain dishonest. I expect Mayor Wright, Mayor Pro Tem Thorpe and Council Member Ogorchock who were not part of the council that gave that misdirection to staff, to correct this and give new direction using 89 as the base figure. I would also hope that Council Members Wilson and Tiscareno would see the error of their ways and join them in correcting it.

We get enough of this statistical and fiscal game playing with our government and our money from Washington, DC and Sacramento, already. It should never be allowed at the local level. If the council and staff ever hope to see Measure C renewed, or much less doubled – which I seriously doubt will be supported (and we’ll see once the results of the recent survey are made public) – the council needs to correct this. Also, if Sgt. Tom Fuhrmann, Joy Motts and Hans Ho want to maintain their integrity, they will make sure the council does so, because they added their names and reputations to the ballot argument in which the promises were made to help ensure Measure C’s passage. So they all made that same promise.

Reopen Employee Contracts to Ensure Funding for 111 Officers

We the people need the council to not only start using the correct base of 89 sworn officer, we need one of the three current council members who voted for the pay raises last year to join Wright and Thorpe in reopening and renegotiating the city employee contracts. That is the only way to ensure there is enough money in the budget to pay for the 111 sworn officers we were promised.

Unfortunately, that still won’t get us to the 1.2 officers per 1,000 population level of 132 sworn police officers that we’ve been needing for the past 20 years. But, it will have to do, for now.

And the time to face the facts, take responsible action, be honest with we the people and address and fix these matters is now.

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Writer says Frazier again gets ‘F’ on taxes

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Editor:

You can thank Assemblyman Jim Frazier for that pain at the pump you’re feeling now that gas is an extra 12 cents per gallon.

Frazier and his fellow Democrats in Sacramento raised taxes $52 billion annually, including a 12 cents/gallon gas tax hike, 20 cents/gallon diesel gas tax hike and a $25-$175 vehicle fee increase. The average household will be paying an extra $600 a year.

Frazier not only voted for the tax-hike legislation, but sponsored his own version of the tax-hike bill, Assembly Bill 1. So it’s no surprise that Frazier once again received an “F” on his legislative report card from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. He voted in favor of taxpayer interests only 16 percent of the time on 22 tax bills in 2017.

This makes the fifth year in a row that Frazier, whose campaign slogan is “People before politics,” has received an “F” from HJTA for putting politics before people when it comes to their taxes.

Unfortunately, Frazier is not alone – a record 79 legislators flunked the tax scorecard. “By approving major new burdens on middle class taxpayers, the current crop of Sacramento lawmakers is exhibiting an outright hostility to the taxpayers who pay the state’s bills,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal.

How bad is the hostility? State lawmakers this year proposed $373.4 billion in higher annual taxes and fees, according to the California Tax Foundation. That’s nearly $200 billion more than the total taxes and fees annually collected by state government.

When will it end? Only when taxpayers decide they’ve had enough and stop sending taxaholics like Frazier to represent them in Sacramento.

Dave Roberts

Oakley

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Gov. gives Bay Area voters chance to increase bridge tolls by $3 to fund transportation on next year’s ballot

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

The setting sun reflects off of the Carquinez Bridge’s towers. This bridge project was funded through Regional Measure 1. Photo courtesy of MTC.

Some of the $4.5 billion in projects would benefit Antioch, East County

By Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Governor Brown’s action today to sign into law Senate Bill 595 clears the way for Bay Area voters to decide – potentially as early as next June – on Regional Measure 3 (RM 3), which would raise tolls by up to $3 on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges to finance the sweeping $4.5 billion package of congestion relief and mobility improvement projects identified in the bill. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), in its role as the Bay Area Toll Authority, is expected to decide by early 2018 when the RM 3 question will appear on ballots in the nine Bay Area counties. The Commission also will decide the amount of the proposed toll increase and whether the proposed increase would be instituted all at once or phased in over several years.

The RM 3 expenditure plan provides mobility improvements in each of the region’s seven state- owned bridge corridors, helping to speed up commutes and provide better travel options, particularly for those traveling to major job hubs, such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The plan includes numerous congestion relief projects in the bridge corridors, including new express lanes, a direct freeway connector from northbound U.S. 101 to eastbound Interstate 580 in Marin County to improve access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge as well as improvements to the westbound approach in Contra Costa County; constructing a direct connector between Interstates 680 and 880 in Fremont and improvements to the I-680/State Route 84 interchange in Alameda County serving the Dumbarton Bridge; upgrading the I-680/State Route 4 interchange in Contra Costa County serving the Benicia Bridge corridor and the U.S. 101/State Route 92 interchange in San Mateo serving the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge; various improvements to relieve congestion in the Dumbarton Bridge corridor and improve State Route 37 in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties; completing the widening of U.S. 101 to three lanes in each direction through the Marin-Sonoma Narrows. Major public transit improvements that would be funded by the measure include 306 new BART cars that will expand the fleet to accommodate record ridership; new ferries and expanded service and terminals across San Francisco Bay; further extension of BART’s Silicon Valley service to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara; extending Caltrain to downtown San Francisco; expanding transbay bus service and AC Transit’s bus rapid transit lines serving the transbay corridor; extending the new SMART rail system to Windsor; and expanding San Francisco’s fleet of Muni Metro rail cars to improve transit access not just to San Francisco, but within it as well. RM 3 also would fund a $150 million grant program to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to regional transit hubs and to close gaps in the San Francisco Bay Trail.

Proposed projects that would benefit Contra Costa County, Antioch and East County.

“Nobody likes higher tolls,” commented MTC Chair and Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie. “But nobody likes traffic jams or crush-loaded train cars either. The Bay Area has been blessed by seven straight years of strong economic growth. But the price we’ve paid is the growing congestion on our freeways, railways and ferries. If our region is going to maintain its economic leadership, we have to invest in projects that will keep businesses and their workers moving. Gov. Brown and the state Legislature deserve a lot of credit for shaping RM 3 into a comprehensive and integrated strategy that will modernize both our highways and our transit networks.”

For details on the complete range of investments that would be funded if a majority of voters in the nine Bay Area counties approve RM 3, go to the MTC website or see the complete list, here.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing, and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

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Frazier votes ‘no’ on proposed bridge toll hikes

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) voted ‘no’ on SB 595, which would require the nine Bay Area counties to hold a special election, known as Regional Measure 3, to propose raising tolls on state-owned bridges in the Bay Area. After the vote, he issued the following statement:

“I recognize the need for funding transportation improvements, but after much thought, I believe adding another tax on commuters is not the answer. I ultimately voted NO on the bridge toll bill because $8 per crossing is just too much of a financial burden on drivers. If you commute from Solano County to San Francisco – entailing two bridge tolls that would potentially total $16 a day – that’s highway robbery.”

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