• Transportation Sales Tax Idea Floated

    TAMC Moves Forward on the Road to “Self-Help”  

    The Board of Directors of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County elected to take a step forward in its efforts to develop a “self-help” plan to fund transportation projects in Monterey County. Facing the reality that we are getting less transportation funding from the federal and state government and what is available is less reliable than in the past, and revenue from gas taxes has decreased, the Agency is looking for alternatives ways to fund projects that impact safety, commerce and quality of life in Monterey County.

    The successful passage of a 3/8% transportation sales tax would generate nearly $20,000,000 a year. At the cost of less than 4 cents per dollar, Monterey County would become a “self-help” county, where local money would provide local solutions for local needs. In addition, becoming a “self-help” county not only generates funding for local projects but also acts as a leveraging agent to better compete for state and federal grants.

    The “self-help” method would be the passage of a local transportation sales tax. It’s proved to be successful in 20 other California counties; and the Agency has reasons to believe it will be successful in Monterey County. TAMC’s last attempt to pass a sales tax was in 2008. Measure Z received overwhelming support from 63% of Monterey County voters. However, even though this was a majority vote, it did not meet the 2/3 (“supermajority”) requirement required for a sales tax measure and failed to pass.

    In 2014, EMC Research conducted polling in Monterey County to gauge the potential support for a 2016 transportation sales tax. The results indicate that more than 2/3 of Monterey County residents are initially supportive of a 2016 transportation sales tax measure.

    A staff presentation to the Board explained why this could be a viable option for 2016. After the presentation, the Board approved a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Transportation Sales Tax Measure Consultant and authorized staff to publish the RFP, and return to the Board of Directors with a recommendation for approval of a consultant.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 26, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News

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