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Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure B
BART Extension - VTA
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Sales Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 414,328 / 66.78% Yes votes ...... 206,103 / 33.22% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 25 11:10am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (1,142/1,142)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

To reduce dependence on foreign oil, help relieve soaring gas prices and combat climate change, shall the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority enact a 1/8 cent sales tax limited to thirty years for BART to operate/ maintain/ improve the 16.1 mile Santa Clara County BART extension, with stations in Milpitas, San Jose, and Santa Clara, connecting with Caltrain from Gilroy to San Francisco and an Airport People Mover, to be collected only if sufficient state/federal funds are secured to match local construction dollars?
YES
NO

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "yes" vote would authorize a one-eighth cent sales tax, for a period of 30 years, to be imposed only if state and federal match funds are secured first.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "no" vote would not authorize a one-eighth cent sales tax, for a period of 30 years, to be imposed only if state and federal match funds are secured first.

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
California law permits the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to impose a retail transactions and use tax throughout the County of Santa Clara. Such a tax must be approved by two-thirds of the voters voting in an election. The Board of Directors for the VTA proposes a one-eighth of one percent retail sales and use tax to be used for the following specific purpose: to be used by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to operate, maintain and improve the 16-mile BART extension to the County of Santa Clara, with stations in Milpitas, San Jose, and Santa Clara, connecting with Caltrain from Gilroy to San Francisco and establishing a People Mover to San Jose International Airport. If adopted, the money generated by the tax could only be used for these specific purposes.

The proposed tax would only be collected if sufficient state and federal funds are secured to match local construction dollars. Under the measure, federal funds would be considered secured and matched when the federal government executes a Full Funding Grant Agreement, or its equivalent, in an amount of at least $750 million. State funds would be considered secured and matched when the California Transportation Commission approves an Allocation Request, or its equivalent, in an amount of at least $240 million. Collection of the tax would commence only if these two match requirements are met; if these two requirements are met, the tax would be collected for a period of 30 years. The tax would expire by operation of law at the end of the 30-year period.

A "yes" vote would authorize a one-eighth cent sales tax, for a period of 30 years, to be imposed only if state and federal match funds are secured first.

A "no" vote would not authorize a one-eighth cent sales tax, for a period of 30 years, to be imposed only if state and federal match funds are secured first.

Ann Miller Ravel
County Counsel
By: /s/ Susan Swain
Lead Deputy County Counsel

  Official Information

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Nonpartisan Information

League of Women Voters

Events

Radio Programs

News and Analysis

Google News Search

Mercury News Weekly Online KCBS News Report - Audio Podcast KTVU Channel 2 News Report Palo Alto Online Metroactive KTVU.com
Critics: BART route outdated
Opponents say the 16-mile route, designed 40 years ago, no longer reflects the region and doesn't pass through the area where most high-tech companies are located.

KCBS news report
"[VTA General Manager] Burns concedes though that the actual cost of the BART project is somewhere in the $6 Billion dollar range."

Backers promote South Bay BART extension
Transportation leaders from around region, state and nation speak out about BART

The Facts on the tax to bring BART to San Jose

BART backers say San Jose line could bring billions of dollars to the valley
Economic impact survey conducted by Wilbur Smith Associates for VTA, indicating BART extension and Measure B will bring jobs, dollars, employees to Santa Clara county.
Partisan Information

Yes on Measure B
The pro-Measure B web site.

Official No on B website
Learn why a broad coalition from the Sierra Club to the Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association urges you to vote "NO" on Measure B, VTA's latest sales tax.
Official Version of Ballot Measure

N. B. The information about the Measure may contain errors from retyping. The official version may be obtained from the Registrar of Voters.
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Arguments For Measure B Arguments Against Measure B
VOTE YES ON MEASURE B

Measure B provides the funds needed to operate and maintain the future 16.1-mile BART extension into Santa Clara County. It legally cannot be used for any other purpose. It only takes effect once State and Federal funds are secured to match local dollars.

Why is Measure B important?

Alternatives to Foreign Oil & $4 gas:

  • Measure B helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil: The 16.1-mile BART extension will save two tanker trucks of gasoline - 12,000 gallons - every day.

  • Measure B helps provide relief from $4/gallon gas: The 104-mile BART system already carries 370,000 daily trips. Three of every four BART riders have other options, yet choose BART instead - saving gas and time, while easing traffic.

  • Measure B helps curb climate change: 51 percent of our region's greenhouse gases come from cars. Measure B provides proven options to our automobiles.

Strengthen our Regional Economy:

  • Measure B connects BART to Santa Clara County and the rest of the Bay Area - The BART extension will carry nearly 100,000 daily passengers, removing cars and congestion from our roads.

  • Measure B connects BART with Caltrain; and also San Jose International Airport through the future People Mover to all three passenger terminals.

  • Measure B strengthens our economy - The BART extension creates thousands of well-paying local jobs to build the line, while helping people travel to work, school and entertainment centers. Measure B puts people to work while helping the rest of us get to work.

  • Measure B protects taxpayers. By law, Measure B only takes effect if- and only if - sufficient State and Federal funds to match our local dollars are secured to build the BART extension.

  • Vote YES on Measure B - Yes to BART - No to foreign oil, $4 gas and climate change.

    Join this volunteer effort: http://www.BARTtoSiliconValley.com.

    /s/ Chuck Reed
    Mayor, City of San Jose
    /s/ Mike Splinter

    CEO of Applied Materials & Chair of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
    /s/ David Yarnold
    Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund
    /s/ Anne M. Mack
    Senior Care Commissioner & Advisory Board member of the Santa Clara County Council on Aging
    /s/ Joe Coto
    State Assemblyman, 23rd Assembly District and Former School Superintendent of the East Side Union High School District

    Rebuttal to Arguments For
    Rosy forecasts, exaggerated claims. We've seen this before, and Santa Clara County's Civil Grand Jury agreed-VTA was overpromising to win your vote.

    After 21 years, VTA's light rail system still hasn't met its original ridership and revenue projections. It's the worst-performing light rail in the country. Forecasting inaccuracies cost mega-bucks. They're doing it again.

    Proponents aren't being truthful. More taxes are coming: Approved VTA documents confirm a [one-quarter] percent increase is required.

    Proponents' arguments aren't credible:

    • Save oil? Curb climate change? Electrifying Caltrain would save 1.7 times as much fuel, for a fraction of the cost. VTA has delayed this project. Measure B further threatens it.
    • Relieve gas prices? Measure B increases prices of gas and almost everything else we buy.
    • Add jobs? VTA can add more jobs today by keeping its promises without Measure B-by delivering on projects with the $6 billion voters approved in 2000. Measure B jeopardizes those projects. Higher taxes hurt small businesses, making it harder to create new jobs.
    • Protects taxpayers? By increasing taxes? VTA would give our Measure B money to another agency, on which Santa Clara County has no voting members. That's taxation without representation.

    VTA's 2008 budget is nearly [three-quarters] of a billion dollars. Where does the money go? Why isn't VTA delivering new service now?

    NO more empty promises, NO more exaggerated claims. Tell VTA to deliver on past promises first...

    Vote NO on Measure B! http://www.NoVTAtax.com

    /s/ David Casas

    VTA Board Member; Los Altos City Councilmember and Former Mayor
    /s/ Sherman Lewis
    Former BART Board Member
    /s/ Roy Nakadegawa
    P.E; Former BART Board Member; Former AC Transit Board Member
    /s/ David Schonbrunn
    President, Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund (TRANSDEF)
    /s/ Douglas A. McNea President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association
VTA continues to promise what they can't deliver.

In 2000, the ballot argument promised us a [one-half] percent tax "... pays operating costs for BART, rail, and buses for decades without additional taxes." Voters passed the $6-billion tax.

Today, VTA wants a $2-billion tax increase--for those same operating costs.

In 2000, they promised light rail for East San Jose, more Caltrain service, and an airport people mover.

Today, all of those projects have been delayed. Others have been cut entirely.

In 2000, they promised "Traffic Relief Now."

Today, VTA won't even tell us which projects will be built, or when.

In 2000, they promised expanded bus service.

Instead, VTA cut service and raised fares. Annual transit ridership fell by 17 million trips.

Now they're promising us a train to Fremont--if only we'll pass another tax. Can we trust them?

Santa Clara County's Civil Grand Jury called it "over-promising of projects to voters."

They're doing it again:

In 2000, VTA said they had enough money.

In 2006, VTA said a [one-quarter] percent tax was enough.

This spring, VTA's consultant said it wasn't.

Today, VTA wants a 1/8 percent tax.

They don't know what they need. Expect more tax increases.

We need results.

If VTA were serious about combating climate change, they wouldn't starve the transit systems we have, to fund the transit we might get... someday.

We deserve a transit agency focused on effectively delivering transit.

VTA spends more to operate one bus for one hour than nearly every other transit agency. For the same money, we could get more transit:

Tell VTA you want real change. Learn more at http://www.NoVTAtax.com

Vote NO on Measure B.

/s/ Karen Maki
Executive Committee Chair, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter
/s/ Yoriko Kishimoto

VTA Board Member; Member and Former Mayor, Palo Alto City Council
/s/ John L. McLemore
Former VTA Board Member; Former Vice-Chair, Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner
/s/ Greg Perry
Former VTA Board Member; Former Mountain View Councilmember
/s/ Pete Constant
Councilmember, City of San Jose

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
BART opponents' entire argument criticizes the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

It's irrelevant - The BART extension will be operated and maintained by BART, not VTA.

What do BART opponents ignore?

  • Measure B never takes effect until and unless the State/Federal governments match our local dollars to build the BART extension.

  • BART carries 370,000 passengers every weekday. The Santa Clara County extension will carry another 98,250 passengers daily.

Measure B earns widespread support because:

  • It builds a regional rail system: The BART extension - with stations in Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara - will link with Caltrain; with stations in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Palo Alto.

  • It builds alternatives to $4 gas: 91 percent of Santa Clara County residents will be within three miles from a BART, Caltrain or Light Rail station, finally connecting Santa Clara County residents into a comprehensive, Bay Area-wide system.

  • It serves Silicon Valley's world-class Universities: San Jose State and Santa Clara Universities will be within five-minute walks to BART stations. Stanford students will be a Caltrain connection from the Santa Clara BART station.

  • It builds a stronger economy: The BART extension will provide 10,000 jobs for local workers, and links commuters regionwide.
Fifty years ago, a small group of politicians blocked BART from serving Santa Clara County. Today, a similar group wants to block BART again.

In 2000, private citizens voted overwhelmingly to build the BART extension. On November 4, we can finish the job by approving the funds to operate it.

Join us - vote YES on BART, and no to $4 gas and foreign oil.

/s/ Chuck Reed
Mayor, City of San Jose
/s/ Paul Locatelli
President of Santa Clara University
/s/ Rod Diridon Sr.
Chair, League of Conservation Voters of Santa Clara County
/s/ Liz Kniss

Former Mayor of Palo Alto, Chair of the Valley Transportation Authority Board & County Supervisor
/s/ Mike Honda
Member of Congress CA District 15

Full Text of Measure B
To reduce dependence on foreign oil, help relieve soaring gas prices and combat climate change, shall the Board of Directors of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) enact a retail transactions and use tax ordinance imposing (a) a tax for the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail upon every retailer in Santa Clara County, the territory of VTA, such tax to be at the rate of one-eighth of one percent of the gross receipts of the retailer from the sale of tangible personal property sold by him at retail in the territory of VTA; and (b) a complimentary tax upon the storage, use, or other consumption in Santa Clara County, the territory of VTA, such tax to be at the rate of one-eighth of one percent of the sales price of the property whose storage, use, or other consumption is subject to the tax; such tax to be limited to thirty years; such tax to be used by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to operate, maintain and improve the 16.1 mile BART extension to Santa Clara County, with stations in Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, connecting with Caltrain from Gilroy to San Francisco and a People Mover to San Jose International Airport, and to be collected only if sufficient state and federal funds are secured to match local construction dollars?

Federal funds shall be considered secured and matched when the federal government executes a Full Funding Grant Agreement or its equivalent for the project in an amount of at least $750 million. State funds shall be secured and matched pursuant to Government Code Section 14556.40, when the California Transportation Commission approves an Allocation Request, Letter of No Prejudice or equivalent document for the project in an amount of at least $240 million.

Collection of the tax for a thirty year period will commence with the fulfillment of the two match requirements described above.


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Created: January 24, 2009 10:38 PST
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