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Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure O
Local Vehicle Registration Fee for Transportation
County of Contra Costa

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 143918 / 46.84% Yes votes ...... 163361 / 53.16% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 30 11:25am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (807/807)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To repair and maintain local streets and roads; improve traffic flow, bicycle, pedestrian and driver safety; and improve public transportation efficiency; shall a local vehicle registration fee of ten dollars be established in Contra Costa with expenditures subject to strict monitoring and with all revenues staying in Contra Costa?

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
California law provides that a countywide transportation planning agency, to fund transportation-related projects and programs, may impose a fee of up to $10 (ten dollars) on the registration or renewal of a motor vehicle registered in the county, with the approval of a majority of voters voting at an election for that purpose.

The Board of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority has adopted a resolution proposing a fee of $10 (ten dollars) on the registration or renewal of motor vehicles registered in Contra Costa County. The fee would be in addition to the existing registration or renewal fee paid on motor vehicles registered in the County. The fee would be paid on all motor vehicles except those vehicles that are expressly exempted under the Vehicle Code from the payment of registration fees. If the measure proposed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority is passed by voters, the fee will be imposed on each annual motor vehicle registration or renewal of registration occurring on or after six months following the adoption of the measure by the voters. The fee would be paid in perpetuity unless later terminated by voters.

The ballot measure states that the proceeds of the fee will be used to "repair and maintain local streets and roads; improve traffic flow, bicycle, pedestrian and driver safety; and improve public transportation efficiency." The Board of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority has adopted an expenditure plan allocating the revenue from the fee to transportation-related programs and projects. The expenditure plan states that 71 percent of the funds generated by the fee would be allocated to local road improvement and repair, 21 percent of the funds would be allocated to transit for congestion relief, and 8 percent of the funds would be allocated to pedestrian and bicycle access and safety, after administrative costs are deducted. Proceeds from the fee may be used only for the specific purposes set forth in the ballot measure and according to statutory provisions.

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the fee.

A "no" vote is a vote against authorizing the fee.

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Arguments For Measure O Arguments Against Measure O
Vote Yes on Measure O to keep vital revenue in Contra Costa County to address our local transportation needs. All funding will stay right here + none of it can be taken by the State. Funding from state government is unreliable. Measure O will provide a secure, local source of funds for critically important local transportation projects.

Vote Yes on Measure O to repair and maintain local streets and roads, making them safer for drivers, pedestrians and bike riders. Better streets and roads help keep down our gas costs, lower our vehicle maintenance costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Measure O will also help us qualify for matching transportation funding grants.

Vote Yes on Measure O to improve public transportation in Contra Costa County. This includes making it easier for residents in every part of the County to get to work and school using public transportation, as well as making it easier for residents who combine public transit and other forms of transportation to get where they're going.

Vote Yes on Measure O to promote programs that improve our air quality and benefit the environment by reducing pollution from cars and trucks. Measure O will also promote programs to reduce commute hour traffic, like telecommuting and ride sharing, and increase the use of technology to improve the flow of traffic on our busiest roads and freeways.

Contra Costa County residents need reliable, efficient, green transportation options + for better quality of life, stronger economy and cleaner environment. Measure O will fund our local transportation priorities now -- when we need it most.

For more information, please visit our website,

Please join us and Vote Yes on Measure O.

Mark DeSaulnier, California State Senator

Lesa R. McIntosh, EBMUD Board

Dave Hudson, San Ramon City Council

Save Mount Diablo Ronald Brown, Executive Director

Julie Pierce, Clayton City Council

Rebuttal to Arguments For
We have coped with crumbling roads for too long. Contra Costa residents agree that repairing and maintaining local roads is Contra Costa's #1 transportation priority. Yet Measure O money will charge car owners millions for a variety of other projects and services, such as express buses, sidewalk repairs, bus turnouts, and bike lane striping.

Contra Costa's car owners should not have to pay an additional $8.5 million each year for things they don't want!

The simple fact is: If CCTA truly wanted to improve road quality they would have placed a tax-dedicated roads measure on the ballot. Instead they want a "fee" which they can spend on a variety of pet projects to benefit a handful of special interests while neglecting deteriorating roads.

Other problems with this "fee":

  • We maintain this measure is a tax that could end up wasting taxpayer dollars in court.
  • The "fee" is hidden since it will be buried on your Vehicle License Renewal.
  • The "fee" is permanent + but how the money is spent can change.
  • The state Vehicle License Renewal fee was raised last year to balance the state budget and may be raised again for that purpose if Proposition 21 passes in November.
  • The CCTA is a powerful, hidden bureaucracy not directly accountable to the public.

We need road repair and maintenance + not a new $8.5 million "fee" to pay for a grab bag of special interest projects!

Vote NO on Measure O!

For more information see and

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association Kris Hunt, Executive Director

Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers Kenneth Hambrick, Chairman

Pleasant Hill Taxpayers Association Jack Weir, President

Lafayette Taxpayers Association Donald Lively, Executive Director

Frank Manske Member, Local Hospital Board

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) already receives a half cent on every dollar of taxable spending in Contra Costa County. Now the CCTA wants $10 more added permanently to your annual car registration.

Despite extraordinarily difficult economic times and belt-tightening for Contra Costa businesses and families, the CCTA is another government agency refusing to live within its means. Instead, the CCTA is spending its time (and $1.15 million of our money) on a new election.

The annual $8.5 million wouldn't be just be devoted to road repairs + though its promoters may want you to believe it would. In reality, 71% of their spending-plan allocation for "Local Road Improvement and Repair" includes things like "Bus stop improvements" and "accommodation of bicycles and pedestrians on local roadways."

The 21% allocated to "Transit for Congestion Relief" also funds "rapid bus facilities" and "express and feeder bus service."

Another 8% of Measure O's spending exclusively funds "Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Access."

There are other problems with this "fee":

  • In fact, it's a tax, not a "fee" so it could easily end up in court.

  • Because Measure O would add the same charge to each vehicle license fee, regardless of your car's value or number of miles driven, it would most impact those who can least afford it -- like the poor and elderly.

  • The Measure O "fee" would be paid ONLY by car owners; but much of Measure O's annual $8.5 Million in new taxes would benefit bicyclists and already under-utilized bus systems.

It's time to send politicians and government bureaucrats a clear message: LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS.

Vote NO on Measure O!

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association Kris Hunt, Executive Director

Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers Kenneth Hambrick, Chairmann

Bill Gram-Reefer,Small Business Owner, Pleasant Hill

Wendy Lack, Concord Resident

Richard Soderholm, Commander, USN, Retired; Former Contra Costa Grand Jury Member

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Voting Yes on Measure O means investing locally to fix and maintain our streets and roads and make many other improvements that our transportation system badly needs. Measure O will benefit all Contra Costa County residents whether you drive, ride public transit, travel by bike, walk or use some combination.

Voting Yes on Measure O means not relying on the state to meet our most urgent transportation needs. Our local Contra Costa Transportation Authority has a proven record of success in using our transportation dollars wisely on the projects that are most important to us and provide the greatest value.

Two previous measures approved by voters -- Measure C in 1988 and Measure J in 2004 -- allowed us to dramatically improve our quality of transportation. These measures widened and improved Interstates 80 and 680 and Highway 4, including upgrading interchanges across the County. They extended BART, improved and maintained local streets and roads, and supported transportation programs for seniors and the disabled. Voter support is also the reason that construction of the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel is now under way.

Opponents of Measure O were either against these improvements or want to pretend they never happened. But the record is clear: Local funding has positively transformed how we get to work and school, and how we visit family and friends. Measure O will continue our record of success -- following a transparent process for shaping our County's future that involves the entire community.

Please join us and Vote Yes on Measure O to ensure we can continue to meet our local transportation needs.

Federal Glover, Supervisor, Dist. V, Contra Costa County

Jim Frazier, Vice Mayor of Oakley

Contra Costa Council Linda Best, President & CEO

Janet Abelson, Mayor of El Cerrito

Susan Rainey, Mayor of Walnut Creek

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Created: January 6, 2011 14:57 PST
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