News & Media
Vol. 6, No.9October 10, 2008
In This Issue …
- $42 Billion Statewide Transportation Measure Dropped from Ballot
- 2008 Elections
- CFTE to Release New Report
$42 Billion Statewide Transportation Measure Dropped from Ballot
Over the last year, a coalition of Arizona business and political leaders, including Gov. Janet Napolitano, have been preparing a 30-year, $42 billion plan to improve state funding for both highways and transit. The goal was to present the plan to voters on the November ballot, and volunteers with the TIME coalition worked all spring to collect the necessary 250,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. In the end, the Secretary of State ruled that the initiative campaign did not collect enough valid signatures. The TIME coalition filed a lawsuit to challenge that finding, but a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the lawsuit was filed to late to have any effect.
Voters would have been asked to raise the statewide sales tax by a penny for every dollar spent. The new financing would have gone to a mix of roads and rail projects to be built over the next three decades.
For more transportation news visit http://www.cfte.org
There are now twenty-two measures scheduled for the November ballot. Voters from communities in thirteen states will be deciding on the future of public transportation. Colorado, Missouri, Michigan and New Mexico each have two areas with transportation ballot measures and California has six measures, including one statewide high-speed rail referendum.
The most recent additions to the ballot include:
Lawrence, Kansas-- The T system's financial struggles have led Lawrence City Commissioners to place two separate sales tax questions on the November ballot: a 0.2% sales tax for transit and a 0.3% infrastructure sales tax. Both sales tax questions would be on the November general election ballot, and both would require a separate vote.
Los Angeles County, California-- The business community and local political leaders worked together to get a 1/4 cent sales tax increase on the November ballot to pay for more road and mass transit projects, including the beginning of the subway to the sea. A majority of the MTA board had to approve the tax measure and the State Legislature had to approve a bill to allow L.A. County to take the issue to voters this year.
Kansas City, Missouri--In November of 2006, Kansas City voters approved a plan to bring light-rail to their city. A year later, the city council voted to overturn the results of the election on the grounds that the approved plan was underfunded and unfeasible. This November, the city council is presenting un updated plan to voters.
Santa Clara Valley, California-- A new law allows Valley Transportation Authority to place a one-eighth-cent sales tax on the ballot. Since the opposition of a June 2006 tax initiative, VTA has been eager to ask voters again for the funds to support the transit system, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) expansion, and will do so in November.
Jonesboro City, Arkansas--In 2006, the Jonesboro City Council voted to establish a transit agency, the Jonesboro Economical Transportation System (JETS). The system is established for three years after which voters will decide whether to continue the service. They vote this November.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin--The Milwaukee County Board has agreed to a half-cent local sales tax to pay for transit, after hearing appeals from major civic and business groups. The tax would be dedicated to transit and generate an estimated $65 million a year.
Honolulu, Hawaii-- Voters in Honolulu will have the chance this November to decide whether their city can begin construction next year on a $3.7 billion, 20-mile elevated commuter rail line from east Kapolei to Ala Moana and complete the project by 2018.
To view the full list of ballot measures visit http://www.cfte.org/success/2006ballotmeasures.asp
CFTE to Release New Report
REPORT WILL EXAMINE STATE ROLE IN TRANSPORTATION FINANCE
Paying for Progress: 2008 State Transportation Funding & Finance Scorecard
The Center for Transportation Excellence will release a new report examining the state role in transportation finance. "Paying for Progress: 2008 State Transportation Funding & Finance Scorecard," evaluates and compares the states on the funding decisions that have been made in recent years and the state policies and structures that constrain or facilitate funding. This report offers insight into the current state investment patterns and the complex set of structural forces that guide them.