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Sentinel staff report–
A public hearing will be held on Wednesday regarding a new half-cent sales tax measurebeing considered in Sacramento County that seeks to raise more than $8 billion over the next 40 years for funding road repair, transit and highway projects
The proposal, known as the new Measure A, has been drafted by the Sacramento Transit Authority (STA), an agency governed by a 16-member board made up of the county’s five supervisors and city council representatives from six cities in Sacramento County. The tax would be in addition to an existing half-cent transportation sales tax measure, also called Measure A, which was approved in 2004.
If approved by the STA board, tentatively slated for a vote next month, the tax measure would then need an “O.K.” from the majority of cities in the county and then be ultimately placed before voters later this year in November. A prior transportation sales tax, Measure B, was narrowly shot down by voters four years ago.
Input from the public on the proposed sales tax measure is currently being sought, with the STA inviting comment at several upcoming hearings, on Feb. 5 and Feb. 19.
According to a draft “Transportation Expenditure Plan” (TEP), funds generated from the measure would be broken down into three primary categories: 38.2% would go towards local streets, road repair and “transformative system improvements,” another 23.5% would go to Sacramento Regional Transit purposes, and 32.3% would go towards congestion relief through highway, transit, rail and on-ramp/interchange projects.
The remaining 6% of funds would go towards senior and disabled transportation services, clean air efforts, a regional mobility center, and program administration that includes support for independent taxpayer oversight.
Citrus Heights Vice Mayor Steve Miller, who sits on the STA board, told The Sentinel on Friday that the funding allocation is still being debated, with some arguing for more funding to go towards local road repair and others wanting more to go towards public transit.
Miller said some interest groups “want us all riding buses,” but noted that the STA’s polling on whether the measure could pass “is telling us stick with roads.”
County Supervisor Sue Frost, who is a resident of Citrus Heights, is one of those advocating in favor of directing funds to road repairs and highway improvements. In a guest column submitted to The Sentinel, Frost said she wants to see the STA board drop transit projects from the plan and move forward with a roads-only measure.
According to the draft expenditure plan, funding in the category of local streets and road repair would be allocated to each city within the county based 75% on population and 25% on “relative paved and maintained road mileage.” The City of Citrus Heights would receive 5.3% of the funding, projected at $165.5 million over 40 years. Folsom would receive the same percentage.
The unincorporated county would receive the largest portion, at 40.4%, followed by 31.3% being allocated to the City of Sacramento. Elk Grove would receive 11%, Rancho Cordova, 5.1%, and Galt and Isleton would get less than 2% combined.
A major county project slated for funding from the proposed tax measure is the Capital Southeast Connector, which would create a four-lane expressway along Grant Line Road and White Rock Road to connect State Route 99 with Highway 50. Other projects include bus/carpool lanes on portions of the Capital City Freeway and Interstate 5, from Highway 50 to the airport.
A full list of projects for each area of the county can be viewed at www.sacta.org/2020-transportation-expenditure-plan.
Projects listed for the City of Citrus Heights include:
- Fix it First Street Maintenance & Rehabilitation
- Complete Streets Program:
- Auburn Blvd (Phase II)
- San Juan Avenue (Madison Avenue – Greenback Lane)
- Antelope Road/I-80 (Bike, Pedestrian, ADA, and Congestion Relief Improvements)
- Greenback Lane (Sunrise Blvd – Fair Oaks Blvd) –
- Sunrise Blvd (Sayonara Drive – Madison Avenue)
- Intelligent Transportation System Improvements
- Bicycle Master Plan Implementation
- Pedestrian Master Plan Implementation
- Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan Implementation
The board’s next public hearing will take place on Feb. 5, at 1:30 p.m. in the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors’ Chamber at 700 H Street, Suite 1450. Those wishing to submit comments on the plan can do so via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the transit authority’s website: www.sacta.org/contact-us.
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