Antioch Council votes to support 2020 county transportation half-cent sales tax ballot measure, expenditure plan

$3.6 billion plan will provide $1 billion to East County, including an additional $1.6 million per year for local roads in Antioch

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 22, 2019, the Antioch City Council voted unanimously to support placing a second countywide, half-cent sales tax for transportation on the March 2020 ballot, as well as the associated expenditure plan. The measure is expected to generate $3.6 billion in revenue over the next 35 years. If passed, it will go into effect July 1, 2020 and will overlap the county’s current half-cent sales tax for transportation for 14 years. See plan, here: Draft 2020 Transportation Expenditure Plan

“We have support from all the cities in the county, except for Antioch and one other city. We still need two-thirds of the voters to approve the plan in order for it to take effect,” said Hisham Noeimi, Director of Programming for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, who provided the presentation. “Despite our success our work is not done, yet. We still have four of the 10 most congested corridors in the Bay Area.” See presentation, here: 2020 Transportation Expenditure Plan Presentation

The other reason for the ballot measure is the housing jobs imbalance in the county, he explained.

“If we can bring jobs to housing rich areas, like Eastern Contra Costa County, that will help. We added 350,000 people over the last 20 years which has put strains on our transportation system. We expect to add another 350,000 people over the next 35 years.”

“The TEP (Transportation Expenditure Plan) attempts to provide the funding for all these needs…with a focus on green modes of transportation, like transit and bike, and growth management,” Noeimi continued.

The cost is estimated to be about $50 to $75 per household on average per year.

He said that $1.6 billion focused on major road improvements.

“The remaining $2 billion will be spent in your communities, coming back to the cities to improve your local streets, and improved transit services…to make it cleaner, more efficient,” Noeimi stated. “There is funding to attract jobs to East Contra Costa. There is also funding to improve air quality.”

“It was developed with sub-region equity in mind. So, for East County that’s about 28% of the $3.6 billion that will come back to East County.

“At the Authority we recognize we can’t widen our way out of the problem. That’s why funds will be spent on transit, what we call green transportation. Most of it will be spent along the major corridors in East County, Highway 4, 242, Vasco Road, the road to Byron Airport…” he said.

“Right now, Antioch receives $1.5 million per year for local roads and transportation. If it passes, the city will receive another $1.6 million per year,” Noeimi shared.

“With the TEP, over the next 35 years we will be able to reduce green house gas emissions by 7%. The TEP is more than funding. New policies include improving growth management, making transportation more efficient and our roads safer,” he concluded.

Councilman Lamar Thorpe asked about the Growth Management Plan asking, “Are you talking about the Urban Limit Line?”

“Yes,” Noeimi replied.

“I didn’t understand it this way, but would the county Urban Limit Line supersede our Urban Limit Line?” Thorpe asked.

No. Antioch has its own voter approved Urban Limit Line,’ Noeimi said, then referred to “hillside development. Ridgeline protection. If you have one of these conditions and have a policy to address them, then you mark the box.”

“We’re asking the cities to adopt a Vision Zero Policy, to make our streets safer for all users,” he added.

Thorpe responded, “So, again, getting people out of cars, getting them on bikes in a suburban community.”

TriDelta Transit will get $110 million out of the $392 million in the program, Noeimi shared

“You said something about the cities and a checklist. The return to source money…is conditioned upon the cities meeting their growth management plan. They have to submit a checklist to the CCTA every two years. That just carries that same procedure. If they don’t meet the checklist are the return to source funds withheld?” Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock asked.

“Yes,” Noeimi replied. “That hasn’t happened in the last 30 years.”

Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts asked about the ferry service to Antioch included in the plan.

“The funding can be used for WETA (the Bay Area’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority) or privately-run service, the landing platform,” Noeimi explained. “The money in Antioch could be used for that.”

Mayor Sean Wright then said, “The three-to-one leverage ratio is huge. The way that works, we use the money to start the planning process. Then we go out looking for…the state and federal funds. That’s what CCTA has been able to do.”

“Some of this money is coming back to East Contra Costa for economic development, trying to create jobs, here. A study has shown that if we were able to take 10% of the traffic on our freeways and reverse it…the Bay Area would go green, meaning our highways would no longer be red,” he stated.

Following the presentation, the council then considered the matter for a vote on a separate item on the agenda.

During public comments, Adam Alexander spoke in favor of the adoption of the TEP, saying, “As a training coordinator, representing the Carpenters Training Fund. I’m here to support the TEP…with the inclusion of the joint labor management apprenticeship training program.”

Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commissioner and recently announced city council candidate, Dwayne Eubanks spoke next.

“I want to speak out in support of this amendment…with the inclusion of a BART extension stop at Somersville,” he said. “Contra Loma Somersville is our core corridor. You have all that businesses there. Why don’t we have a stop there? Hillcrest isn’t the center of town. It’s probably too late. But I had to put that out there.”

The council then voted unanimously to approve the resolution supporting the half-cent sales tax Transportation Expenditure Plan and to place it on the March 2020 ballot.


the attachments to this post:

2020 TEP Presentation Cover

2020 TEP Presentation Cover

Draft 2020 Transportation Expenditure Plan

2020 Transportation Expenditure Plan Presentation

One Comment to “Antioch Council votes to support 2020 county transportation half-cent sales tax ballot measure, expenditure plan”

  1. Arne Simonsen says:

    The presentation left out the fact that under SB1 (increase in gasoline/diesel/car registration) doubled the amount of gas tax the city receives, RM3 bridge toll increases and the additional money from SB1 for state highways, they still want more.
    MTC/ABAG will want a 1-cent increase possibly next November for the 9 Bay Area Counties. Soon we will be paying close to an 11% Sales Tax at this rate.

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