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Alameda County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Measure B1
Transportation Commission Sales Tax Measure
Alameda County

2/3 Approval Required

Fail: 350899 / 66.53% Yes votes ...... 176504 / 33.47% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Feb 1 2:01pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (1100/1100)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall a new Transportation Expenditure Plan be implemented to address current and future transportation needs that: * Improves transit access to jobs and schools; * Fixes roads, improves highways and increases bicycle and pedestrian safety; * Reduces traffic congestion and improves air quality; * Keeps senior, youth, and disabled fares affordable. Approval extends the existing County sales tax and increases it by 1/2 cent, with independent oversight, local job creation programs. No money can be taken by the state.

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
This measure seeks voter approval of an ordinance that provides for the following three items: (1) an extension in perpetuity of the existing one-half of one percent (0.5%) transactions and use tax for transportation purposes, currently set to expire in March of 2022; (2) an increase to the transactions and use tax by one-half of one percent (0.5%) resulting in a total tax of one percent (1%); and (3) the Alameda County Transportation Commission's ("Commission") authority to issue limited tax bonds.

The Alameda County Congestion Management Agency and the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority merged to create the Commission in July of 2010. The Commission has the authority to increase the transactions and use tax upon approval by two- thirds of the votes cast under the terms of the measure and California Public Utilities Code section 180201.

The tax proceeds will only fund the projects and programs outlined in the Alameda County 2012 Transportation Expenditure Plan (the "Plan"), which is printed in the sample ballot pamphlet. According to the Plan, 48% of the tax proceeds will fund public and specialized transit; 30% of the tax proceeds will fund improvements to local streets and roads; 9% of the tax proceeds will be spent on highway efficiency and freight development; 8% of the tax proceeds will be used for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure; and 5% of the tax proceeds will fund sustainable land use and transportation projects. The Plan will undergo comprehensive updates at least once before the general election of November 2042 and at least once every 20 years thereafter. The Plan requires voter approval of the comprehensive updates.

Under the measure's terms, the administrative costs shall not exceed 4% of the tax proceeds. The salaries and benefits of administrative staff shall not exceed 1% of the tax proceeds. The tax proceeds may only fund transportation improvements benefitting Alameda County.

The measure also authorizes the Commission to issue limited tax bonds to finance the Plan's projects. The Commission shall not have outstanding at any one time limited tax bonds in excess of one billion dollars.

The measure creates the Independent Watchdog Committee ("Committee"). The Committee will review and oversee all expenditures of the tax proceeds and report directly to the public. The Committee's annual report will include information on spending and the progress made in implementing the Plan. The expenditures are also subject to annual independent audits.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure do not vote for approval, the measure will fail, and the Commission will not be authorized to extend and increase the tax outlined above.

  Official Information

Website of Alameda County Transportation Commission
Nonpartisan Information

Summary and background information on this measure

Ballot Measure Pros & Cons Presentation

  • Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
    Time: 6 - 7:30 PM
    Place: Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 3
    Sponsor: League of Women Voters of Oakland
  • The public is invited to attend and hear unbiased, neutral presentations on Measures J., A1 and B1, as well as the 11 State Ballot Measures. Questions? Call the League at (510) 834-7640
Campaign Finance Data

MapLight VotersEdge

News and Analysis

East Bay Express

Partisan Information

Yes on B1

No on B1

Why Measure B1 is Good for Bikes
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Arguments For Measure B1 Arguments Against Measure B1
Measure B1 was first approved by Alameda County voters in 1986 and provides funds for critically needed transportation projects in Alameda County to reduce traffic congestion and improve public transportation. These projects include road maintenance and safety projects, earthquake safety retrofits for overpasses, bridges and elevated freeways, improvements to BART and AC Transit and insures that transit fares are kept affordable for seniors, disabled and youth.

Alameda County residents need reliable and efficient transportation options for a better quality of life, stronger economy, and cleaner environment. The continuation and extension of this measure will allow critical transportation projects to move ahead uninterrupted.

Measure B1 is a comprehensive plan to address critical transportation needs in every community in Alameda County. It will provide funds to maintain our roads and transit systems, improve traffic flow and highway safety, ensure public transportation is available and affordable to everyone, and make it safer and easier to bike and walk throughout the county.

Passage of Measure B1 will also help Alameda County qualify for state and federal matching transportation grants. Every penny raised by Measure B1 stays in Alameda County to improve transportation systems. It will support our local economy by creating thousands of much-needed local jobs. A public oversight committee will ensure all funding is spent according to the plan. Measure B1 is a secure, local, and reliable source of funds for critical transportation projects in our community. No money can be taken away by the state or used for other purposes.

You can read more about the plan at

Every city in Alameda County has voted in support of this plan. Please join us in voting YES on Measure B1 and continue critical transportation funding for Alameda County.

/s/ Robert A. Wieckowski, Member, Assembly Committee on Job Creation for the New Economy
/s/ Scott Haggerty, Commissioner, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

/s/ Nate Miley, Alameda County Supervisor
/s/ Sheila Jordan, Superintendent, Alameda County Office of Education
/s/ Arthur L. Dao, Executive Director, Alameda County Transportation Commission

Rebuttal to Arguments For
These are NOT New Plans: They are already in MTC, OneBayArea and other Regional Plans for Alameda County, Including many "EXTENSIVE NEW BIKE LANES".

Proponents neglected to say:

  • B 1 DOUBLES the existing Sales Tax.

  • Adds $ (Billion) in Revolving Bond Debts (Reauthorized "forever" when spent down - NO Limit).

  • Adds a new "Storage" Tax (Hitting employers and individuals who store goods for sale)

  • ALL NEW TAXES are "FOREVER TAXES" (deliberately set without a "sunset clause").

A MASSIVE TAX INCREASE: Disproportionately harming working families.
(A greater percentage of their income goes to sales taxes.)

Flawed public policy: Developers get rich on the backs of ordinary people by building lucrative apartment buildings. These trap lower-income residents into poverty cycles with jobs limited to those accessible by public transit. Our children get trapped in low-performing or failing public schools.

  • Adding massive new taxes to struggling small businesses, lower-income and middle classes.


Limiting Our Mobility:
low-income today: How most Americans start out and very often escape

  • It will be harder for many of us and our children to get ahead. Access to higher-paying jobs and benefits will be blocked. (Brookings Institute) IN AMERICA-ESCAPING POVERTY IS POSSIBLE- Measure B 1 blocks that ability.

  • Middle-class families will also be set back: FORCED INTO PUBLIC TRANSIT ONLY-CAREER and SCHOOL OPTIONS are SHUT DOWN.

Measure B 1 is coming to your town

/s/ Al Phillips, Candidate Assembly District 16
/s/ Christopher J. Pareja, Business Owner and June 2012 Independent Candidate
/s/ Mimi Steel, SF Bay CAPR, President
This measure increases taxes on all income levels. It puts control of transportation decisions in the hands of Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) who will use their taxing authority and resources to fund inefficient, expensive, and underutilized public transportation systems at the expense of automobile drivers.

Car use under this plan will be discouraged because it competes with public transportation. Increasing the costs of driving is intended to reduce the number of people who can afford to own and drive a car, forcing many to use public transportation.

ACTC will have the power to force citizens to assume responsibility for up to $1B in bond debt which will ultimately lead to requests for higher sales taxes and parcel taxes. Many residents would pay more than a 10% sales tax on everything they buy, a percentage that will only increase over time.

Cities are being coerced into developing high density housing in mixed use developments near transit centers. Cities that do not comply could lose Measure B dollars yet their citizens will still be paying the sales tax.

"These proposed funds would be distributed periodically by the Alameda CTC to eligible agencies within Alameda County" 2012 Alameda County Transportation Expenditure Plan

Who are these agencies? Why should ATC be given a blank check written at taxpayer expense to disburse funds to undetermined "agencies"

The Alameda County GRAND JURY just cited the county for "lack of oversight on the expenditure of funds" (CC Times, June 27, 2012)

How can citizens trust that funds will be spent wisely? Vote NO

/s/ Estes Albert Phillips
/s/ Christopher J. Pareja
/s/ Mary B. Steel, President, SF Bay CAPR

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The opponents of Measure B1 are members of an ultra conservative fringe group who either make up facts or are misinformed.

Here are the facts.

Measure B has been in effect for 26 years. Measure B funds support projects throughout Alameda County including improvements to ALL transportation systems, roads, street repairs, BART, local bus systems (including AC Transit) and earthquake safety repairs of old overpasses and bridges.

Most importantly Measure B1 provides funding so that transit fares for seniors and the disabled are kept affordable and that students are provided low cost transit passes to get to school.

Every single city in Alameda County has voted to support this plan. In fact, every city participated in the development of the plan to identify critical projects important to each local community. Measure B1 will address the continuing transportation needs of Alameda County residents and businesses including reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.

Measure B1 keeps our sales tax dollars in Alameda County. No money can be taken by the state or used for other purposes. An independent oversight committee has been established to provide audits and to ensure all funds are spent properly.

A YES vote on Measure B1 will fund critical local projects like road repair, BART improvements, passenger rail improvements and Safe Routes for Schools. It will support our local economy by creating thousands of much-needed jobs right here in Alameda County.

Please vote Yes on B1 to keep our sales tax dollars in Alameda County.

/s/ Scott Haggerty, Alameda County Supervisor
/s/ Sheila Jordan, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools
/s/ Nate Miley, County Supervisor
/s/ Bob Wieckowski, Assembly Member
/s/ Arthur L. Dao, Executive Director

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