The defeat of Measure B1 has officials and activists talking about reforming the way the state raises and spends money on transportation.
The state’s two-thirds approval threshold for new taxes allowed a minority of voters to block Measure B1. Now transportation officials, community advocates, and city leaders from Berkeley to Fremont are wondering where the needed funds will come from to pay for bus services, new roads, bike lanes, smart growth projects, and more..
That comes out to 66.53 percent voter approval. B1 lost by an amazingly small margin of 721 votes.
ACTC’s Dao is also looking for ways to reform the system. “[The] talk among transportation circles right now is how to lower the vote threshold below two-thirds, like school bonds,” he said. “We think 55 percent might be the right bar to set for future sales tax initiatives for transportation.” Dao said this will be one of ACTC’s top legislative priorities in 2013.
We really need to be reforming how we fund transportation, and what we fund at every level of government. At the federal level, 80 percent of gas tax goes into highways, rather than transit and pedestrian improvements,” noted Imai. “We need to flip that.”