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Updated March 17, 9:33 p.m.–
Sentinel staff report– The March 12 meeting of the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) was cancelled at the last minute last week, where a public hearing and vote was to be held on whether to place a proposed half-percent transportation sales tax measure on the November ballot.
The meeting was cancelled following an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom regarding coronavirus response and mitigation efforts. The meeting has since been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m.
A meeting agenda initially said members of the public would be able to speak during the meeting, but a revised agenda posted later says public comment will only be received if submitted in writing. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In compliance with directives of the State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this meeting will be streamed live and will be closed to public attendance,” a notice on the STA website now reads. The revised agenda says:
“Members of the public are encouraged to participate by submitting written comments electronically. Comments submitted in-person will be delivered to the Board of Directors by staff. Written comments regarding matters under the jurisdiction of the Board of Directors and not on the posted agenda will be acknowledged by the Chairperson at the beginning of the meeting. Public comments will be accepted until the adjournment of the meeting, distributed to the Board of Directors, and included in the record.”
The proposal, known as the new Measure A, seeks to raise $8.38 billion over the next 40 years through a half-percent increase in the sales tax rate in Sacramento County. The tax would be in addition to an existing half-percent transportation sales tax measure, also called Measure A, which was approved in 2004.
The proposal has been drafted by the 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.
If approved by the STA board, the tax measure would then need an “O.K.” from the majority of city councils in the county and then be ultimately placed before voters later this year. A prior transportation sales tax proposal, Measure B, was narrowly shot down by voters four years ago.
The proposed tax measure has undergone recent changes, with more funding now directed toward local road repair instead of public transit. The total amount projected to be raised by the tax has also increased slightly, due to revisions in projected growth rates.
A breakdown of the latest proposed allocations, listed in the board’s agenda packet is included below:
- Local streets and roads: 47.95%, or $3.9 billion
- Regional Transit funding: 21.9%, or $1.8 billion
- Congestion Relief Improvements: 24.8%, or $2 billion
Remaining amounts would go towards administration, air quality, senior/disabled services, and other select expenditures.
The STA’s board meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on March 18, 2020, and live-streamed at metro14live.saccounty.net. Additional details about the proposal can be viewed online in the board’s March 18 agenda packet.
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