November Election MCBC Endorses Measure AA, Opposes Proposition 6
This November, Marin voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on two ballot measures that would enable Marin’s agencies to continue to steadily deliver bicycle, pedestrian, and roadway improvements. Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s Board of Directors voted last week to endorse Measure AA, Marin’s transportation sales tax renewal, and oppose Proposition 6, a state-level measure that would repeal the recent gas tax increase.
Here’s everything you need to know about both measures:
MEASURE AA (MARIN)
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) is seeking to renew Marin’s ½ cent transportation sales tax, which is set to expire in 2024. The sales tax renewal will require two-thirds approval.
The 30-year Expenditure Plan includes four categories, listed below along with percentages and projected 30-year revenues. Key bike/ped funding opportunities are highlighted in bold.
- Reduce congestion on Highway 101 and adjacent roadways – 7% ($57.9m)
- Maintain, improve, and manage local roads and related infrastructure – 26.5% ($219.2m)
- Reduce school-related congestion and provide safer access to schools – 11.5% ($95.1m)
- Maintain and expand efficient and effective local transit services – 55% ($454.9m)
The 30-year Expenditure Plan would be subject to public review every six years, an important provision that was added in order to enable TAM to respond to changes in transportation funding, policy, and technology.
WHY WE SUPPORT MEASURE AA
Measure AA’s Expenditure Plan reflects Marin’s many transportation needs. The second bullet above (“Maintain, improve, and manage local roads and related infrastructure”) includes flexible funding for street repair, multi-use pathways, safe routes to schools projects, and money for “complete streets” improvements like the recently-completed Miller Avenue project. The third (“Reduce school-related congestion and provide safer access to schools”) continues funding for the Safe Routes to Schools program, crossing guard program, and provides capital funding for small school-related safety improvement projects.
We also like the six year review period because it will enable TAM to respond to respond to several transformative changes expected in the coming years, including the adoption of autonomous vehicles.
PROPOSITION 6 (CALIFORNIA)
In Spring 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1 (SB1), which resulted in California’s first gas tax increase in 23 years. Most funding from SB1 is directed towards California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. The bill also increased state funding for new walking and biking projects to $100 million annually, and increased money available for sustainable transportation planning efforts by $25 million annually.
Proposition 6 would repeal the gas tax and require any future gas or vehicle tax increases to receive voter approval.
WHY WE OPPOSE PROPOSITION 6
California’s gas tax hasn’t kept pace with our infrastructure needs. As noted above, Senate Bill 1 increased California’s gas tax for the first time in 23 years; it also indexes the tax to inflation, which previously wasn’t the case.
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the gas tax repeal would cost the Bay Area $390m in transportation funding annually. This includes money for road repair, transit improvements, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The County of Marin and its cities have already begun to receive an estimated $8.5 million for local road improvements annually, nearly doubling what they formerly received from gas taxes. This money for road improvements often includes “complete streets” overhauls, such as narrowed vehicle lanes, widened/buffered bike lanes, and improved pedestrian crossings.
Repealing the gas tax would reduce California’s Active Transportation Program from $100m to $50m annually, which could prevent projects like the 2nd to Andersen multi-use pathway or North-South Greenway Gap Closure from being funded.