Election Results: Sacramento Measure A Transit Tax Trails

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New housing construction is seen in Folsom along White Rock Road Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Sacramento County. The widening of this section of White Rock Road is one of the projects that would be built with Measure A funds. does irreparable damage to the county’s environment and already poor air quality.

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Measure A, a proposed Sacramento County sales tax increase that would fund a new commuter freeway, an expansion of the light rail system and new bridges, lagged in early returns Tuesday. evening.

The measure trailed 52% to 47% in a 10 p.m. update from Sacramento County election officials. It needs a simple majority to pass.

Proponents of the measure said the tax would raise about $8.5 billion over the next 40 years, funding much-needed improvements to Sacramento’s transportation systems as the population grows and travel deteriorates. Measure A would increase the countywide sales tax by one-half of 1%.

“There is a significant need, as we fight climate change, to improve our transportation system to meet the needs of future generations,” said Michael Quigley, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs and co-chair of the campaign on tax measures. This year.

Opponents of the measure have described it as a dangerous funding mechanism that would encourage suburban sprawl and cause irreparable environmental damage by adding thousands of automobiles to the region’s roads. They also noted that the campaign for the measure was funded largely by developers and construction unions who would benefit from projects funded by the tax increase.

“It is sponsored and funded by special interests who want to use taxpayer dollars to build a new highway that will allow them to profit by developing the land, paving the way for decades of sprawl and inequity and exacerbating change. change,” said Anne Stausboll, who chaired the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change for the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento.

The campaign behind the measure had raised around $3 million last week, a remarkable total for a local campaign. The opposition campaign, meanwhile, had not reported any donations to Sacramento County election officials. Opponents of the measure included the Sacramento Taxpayers Association, the Sierra Club, and pedestrian and transit user advocacy groups.

Many local elected officials lined up behind the measure, including Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, whose city has some of the worst commutes in Northern California. Measure A would help fund the Capital Southeast Connector, a highway under construction linking Elk Grove and the Folsom area.

Measure A would also help fund an expansion of the light rail system at Sacramento International Airport and Elk Grove, a new bridge over the Sacramento River, redesigned freeway interchanges, and a bus rapid transit system. on some of the most congested commercial corridors in the county. Each county local government would receive funding and about $2 billion would go to Sacramento Regional Transportation.

This story was originally published November 8, 2022 8:18 p.m.

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Ryan Lillis covers housing, real estate and development for The Sacramento Bee. He has been a reporter at The Bee since 2006 and previously covered Crime, City Hall, Wildfires and the Central Valley, and was the Associate Editor. Originally from upstate New York, he graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Journalism.

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