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Smart Quarter Cent Sales Tax
Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District
2/3 Approval Required
69.6% Yes votes ......
30.4% No votes
Index of all Measures
Results as of Dec 3 8:30am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (642/642)
Includes 189/189 Precincts in Marin County as of Jan 5 11:00am
Includes 453/453 Precincts in Sonoma County as of Dec 3 8:30am
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To relieve traffic, fight global warming and increase transportation options, shall Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District be authorized to provide two-way passenger train service every 30 minutes during weekday rush hours, weekend service, a bicycle/pedestrian pathway linking the stations, and connections to ferry/bus service, by levying a 1/4-cent sales tax for 20 years, with an annual spending cap, independent audits/oversight, and all funds supporting these environmentally responsible transportation alternatives in Marin and Sonoma Counties?
The District is authorized, with the approval of the voters, to propose a special tax to implement this service. The District has adopted an ordinance proposing a quarter-cent transactions and use tax ($0.0025 on every $1 spent), to be imposed on retail sales in Sonoma and Marin Counties, beginning April 1, 2009. Proceeds of the tax would provide funding for the design, construction, implementation, operation, financing, maintenance and management of the rail system and a bicycle/pedestrian pathway from Cloverdale in Sonoma County to Larkspur in Marin County. An Expenditure Plan for the tax revenues is incorporated into the proposed sales tax ordinance. The revenue from the tax can only be spent on project elements listed in the Expenditure Plan, including but not limited to: 1. Weekday and weekend passenger rail service. 2. A parallel bicycle/pedestrian pathway. 3. Fourteen rail stations from Cloverdale to Larkspur (9 in Sonoma County, 5 in Marin County). 4. Rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP) corridor from Cloverdale to Larkspur, including new passenger train passing sidings. 5. A maintenance facility in either Cloverdale or Windsor. 6. Shuttle service at selected rail stations.
The tax would be collected in the same manner as sales tax is currently collected, would begin on April 1, 2009, and would continue in effect for twenty (20) years. The District is empowered under state law to issue bonds to fund all or part of the construction of the project, so that work can begin sooner. The bonds would be repaid over time from the tax revenue collected. The ordinance also establishes an appropriations (spending) limit for SMART. The ordinance must be approved by two-thirds of the voters voting on the question in order for the special tax to go into effect.
s/PATRICK K. FAULKNER
Marin County Registrar of Voters
|Arguments For Measure Q||Arguments Against Measure Q|
|Marin and Sonoma County voters can take a positive step this November - to protect the environment, relieve traffic, and provide for our long-term transportation future - by VOTING YES on Measure Q to establish Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) passenger train service in the North Bay. Measure Q will: |
Protecting the environment: With climate change concerns and soaring gas prices, SMART is timely - each year it will take 1.4 million car trips off the road, cut carbon emissions by 31 million pounds, and reduce gasoline use by 1.5 million gallons.
Relieving traffic congestion: Marin-Sonoma's stretch of Highway 101 is the Bay Area's 4th most congested corridor. Measure Q will fund two new transportation alternatives - the Train, an easily accessible, convenient transportation option that cuts peak commute times, and the Pathway, with 7,000-10,000 projected users daily.
Providing transportation options: Our local economy and environment will suffer if we continue to depend on roads and driving. A vote for Measure Q is an investment in options that will help secure our transportation future.
Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. Measure Q includes an annual spending cap. Every dollar will be spent locally in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Independent Citizens' Oversight and annual audits are MANDATORY to ensure funds are spent properly.
Environmental, business, labor and transit advocates, and thousands of North Bay citizens urge your support. Measure Q is a SMART transportation solution.
SMART has not identified enough potential riders to justify the money and infrastructure needed to implement this project, and with so few passengers the train would never significantly reduce congestion or air pollution. Successful rail services require urban population densities and highly concentrated homes and workplaces near the tracks. Homes and jobs in Marin are widely dispersed with little access to proposed train stations and the shuttle services would be costly, inefficient and a scheduling nightmare. Passengers would need to use multiple travel modes to reach destinations, something riders are reluctant to do. Novato would bear the additional burden of freight trains authorized to use SMART tracks operating through neighborhoods day and night.
The annual greenhouse gas reduction Measure Q claims for the train is miniscule in the face of the environmental crisis we face. The same emission goals would be met if every household simply replaced an incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent, or if carpools and express bus lanes were initiated.
It is wasteful to spend $1.4 billion for a project with little or no effect on congestion or global warming when alternatives are available at a fraction of that cost, and when basic services such as fire protection are suffering shortfalls and cities are struggling to fund truly effective programs to address climate change.
Vote NO on Measure Q.
s/GRACE A. HUGHES
|SMART would not serve Marin's transit needs. It is prohibitively expensive, requiring a tax subsidy for every round trip passenger. Who can afford this kind of transit system?
No traffic relief; no San Francisco connection. Too few people would take the train to reduce traffic congestion, and trains would stop traffic every 15 minutes during peak periods. At the end of the line, passengers would be dropped high and dry a quarter mile from the ferry terminal.
A developer's dream; a resident's nightmare. State and regional policies promote high-density development close to train stations. Larkspur, San Rafael, and Novato could be forced to add hundreds of units in already crowded neighborhoods.
Health risks. Diesel trains would emit particulate matter throughout nearby homes, parks, and schools, aggravating heart and lung disease.
Damage to natural environment. Measure Q would destroy approximately 30 acres of wetlands and devastate wildlife corridors along its 70-mile length. Endangered California Clapper Rail habitat along Gallinas Creek would be lost. Noise and vibration would lower the value of nearby homes.
Perpetual taxation. The 20 year quarter-cent tax would cover a fraction of costs, and subsidize only 14 years of operation. Additional funds would be needed.
Eliminates real solutions. Measure Q would absorb funds that could be used for more effective programs to reduce our carbon footprint and expand transit to serve all of Marin. It would be a grave misuse of $1.4 billion in these uncertain times.
Vote No on Measure Q.
Consider these FACTS:
Leading organizations including the League of Women Voters, Climate Protection Campaign and Transportation Authority of Marin studied Measure Q and urge your support. Learn more at: http://www.smarttrain2008.org
Please VOTE YES on Q - for Green Transportation Solutions.
|Full Text of Measure Q|
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) was created to provide a passenger rail system along the Northwestern Pacific Railroad within Sonoma and Marin Counties. The entire 75-mile corridor is publicly owned and can be used to provide passenger rail service. SMART will provide passenger rail service and a bicycle/pedestrian pathway to 14 rail stations in Sonoma and Marin Counties. SMART is committed to providing service with the most environmentally clean passenger rail vehicle possible. SMART requires this measure in order to provide matching revenues to existing state and federal transportation grants, to bond for the construction of the project, and to provide funding for the on-going operation and maintenance of the project.
Section 1. TITLE.
This ordinance shall be known as the Sonoma-Marin Passenger Rail Act. The Sonoma- Marin Area Rail Transit District hereinafter shall be called "District." This ordinance shall be applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the Counties of Sonoma and Marin, which shall be referred to herein as "District."
Section 2. OPERATIVE DATE.
"Operative Date" means the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 110 days after the effective date of this ordinance, as set forth below.
Section 3. PURPOSE.
This ordinance is adopted to achieve the following, among other purposes, and directs that the provisions hereof be interpreted in order to accomplish those purposes:
A. To provide funding for the design, construction, implementation, operation, financing, maintenance and management of a passenger rail system and a bicycle/ pedestrian pathway connecting the 14 rail stations from Cloverdale to Larkspur.
B. To impose a retail transactions and use tax in accordance with the provisions of Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code and Section 105115 of the Public Utilities Code which authorizes the District to adopt this tax ordinance which shall be operative if a two-thirds majority of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election called for that purpose.
C. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that incorporates provisions identical to those of the Sales and Use Tax Law of the State of California insofar as those provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements and limitations contained in Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
D. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that imposes a tax and provides a measure therefor that can be administered and collected by the State Board of Equalization in a manner that adapts itself as fully as practicable to, and requires the least possible deviation from, the existing statutory and administrative procedures followed by the State Board of Equalization in administering and collecting the California State Sales and Use Taxes.
E. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that can be administered in a manner that will be, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, minimize the cost of collecting the transactions and use taxes, and at the same time, minimize the burden of record keeping upon persons subject to taxation under the provisions of this ordinance.
Section 4. CONTRACT WITH STATE.
Prior to the operative date, the District shall contract with the State Board of Equalization to perform all functions incident to the administration and operation of this transactions and use tax ordinance; provided, that if the Authority shall not have contracted with the State Board of Equalization prior to the operative date, it shall nevertheless so contract and in such a case the operative date shall be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the execution of such a contract.
Section 5. TRANSACTIONS TAX RATE.
For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the District at the rate of 1/4 of 1 percent (0.25%) of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in said territory on and after the operative date of this ordinance.
Section 6. PLACE OF SALE.
For the purposes of this ordinance, all retail sales are consummated at the place of business of the retailer unless the tangible personal property sold is delivered by the retailer or his agent to an outof- state destination or to a common carrier for delivery to an out-of-state destination. The gross receipts from such sales shall include delivery charges, when such charges are subject to the state sales and use tax, regardless of the place to which delivery is made. In the event a retailer has no permanent place of business in the State or has more than one place of business, the place or places at which the retail sales are consummated shall be determined under rules and regulations to be prescribed and adopted by the State Board of Equalization.
Section 7. USE TAX RATE.
An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the District of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on and after the operative date of this ordinance for storage, use or other consumption in said territory at the rate of 1/4 of 1 percent (0.25%) of the sales price of the property. The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to state sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.
Section 8. ADOPTION OF PROVISIONS OF STATE LAW.
Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance and except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all of the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code are hereby adopted and made a part of this ordinance as though fully set forth herein.
Section 9. LIMITATIONS ON ADOPTION OF STATE LAW AND COLLECTION OF USE TAXES.
In adopting the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code:
A. Wherever the State of California is named or referred to as the taxing agency, the name of this District shall be substituted therefor. However, the substitution shall not be made when:
1. The word "State" is used as a part of the title of the State Controller, State Treasurer, State Board of Control, State Board of Equalization, State Treasury, or the Constitution of the State of California;
B. The word "District" shall be substituted for the word "State" in the phrase "retailer engaged in business in this State" in Section 6203 and in the definition of that phrase in Section 6203.
Section 10. PERMIT NOT REQUIRED.
If a seller's permit has been issued to a retailer under Section 6067 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, an additional transactor's permit shall not be required by this ordinance.
Section 11. EXEMPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS.
A. There shall be excluded from the measure of the transactions tax and the use tax the amount of any sales tax or use tax imposed by the State of California or by any city, city and county, or county pursuant to the Bradley- Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law or the amount of any state-administered transactions or use tax.
B. There are exempted from the computation of the amount of transactions tax the gross receipts from:
1. Sales of tangible personal property, other than fuel or petroleum products, to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the County in which the sale is made and directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property under the authority of the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government.
C. There are exempted from the use tax imposed by this ordinance, the storage, use or other consumption in this District of tangible personal property:
1. The gross receipts from the sale of which have been subject to a transactions tax under any stateadministered transactions and use tax ordinance.
D. Any person subject to use tax under this ordinance may credit against that tax any transactions tax or reimbursement for transactions tax paid to a district imposing, or retailer liable for a transactions tax pursuant to Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the sale to the person of the property the storage, use or other consumption of which is subject to the use tax.
Section 12. AMENDMENTS.
All amendments subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance to Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code relating to sales and use taxes and which are not inconsistent with Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and all amendments to Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall automatically become a part of this ordinance, provided however, that no such amendment shall operate so as to affect the rate of tax imposed by this ordinance.
Section 13. ENJOINING COLLECTION FORBIDDEN.
No injunction or writ of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the State or the District, or against any officer of the State or the District, to prevent or enjoin the collection under this ordinance, or Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, of any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected.
Section 14. ESTABLISHMENT OF ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT.
Taking into account the proceeds of taxes available to the District, including tax revenue that would become available upon approval of this ordinance, the appropriations limit of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District for fiscal year 2008-2009 is established as $100 million, unless that amount should be amended pursuant to applicable law.
Section 15. ADOPTION OF EXPENDITURE PLAN AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EXPENDITURE OF PROCEEDS OF THE TAX.
The District Board of Directors hereby adopts the 2008 Expenditure Plan attached hereto and incorporated into this ordinance by reference. Proceeds of the tax imposed by this ordinance shall be placed in a special account, and shall be spent only to implement the project components set forth in the 2008 Expenditure Plan, including the design, construction, implementation, operation, financing, maintenance and management of the passenger rail system and bicycle/pedestrian pathway. Section 16. ANNUAL REPORT. The Chief Financial Officer of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District shall annually cause to be prepared a report setting forth (a) the amount of funds collected and expended; and (b) the status of any project component authorized to be funded in the 2008 Expenditure Plan adopted by the District in Section 15 herein.
Section 17. COMPLIANCE WITH CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA).
An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was prepared for the project described in the Expenditure Plan and was certified by the District Board of Directors on July 19, 2006. ASupplemental EIR was prepared to supplement the 2006 EIR and was certified by the District Board of Directors on July 16, 2008.
Section 18. SEVERABILITY.
If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Section 19. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This ordinance relates to the levying and collecting of the District transactions and use taxes and shall take effect immediately upon the close of the polls on November 4, 2008, if the measure is approved by two-thirds of the electors voting on the measure at the election held that day.
Section 20. TERMINATION DATE.
The authority to levy the tax imposed by this ordinance shall expire twenty (20) years from the operative date of this ordinance. PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Directors of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District in the County of Marin, State of California, on July 16, 2008, by the following vote:
DIRECTORS: McGLASHAN: AYE FUDGE: AYE BORO: AYE BREEN: AYE BROWN, H: NO BROWN, V: AYE DILLON-KNUTSON: NO EDDIE: AYE KERNS: AYE MACKENZIE: AYE PAHRE: AYE
AYES: 9 NOES: 2 ABSENT: ABSTAIN: VACANT: 1
Attest: s/LILLIAN HAMES