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11/9/2012
Election 2012: Voters weigh in on transportation issues
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

During the November elections voters in states around the country had their say on various transportation-related initiatives. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how many of those initiatives fared on ballots.

Alaska
Proposition A: Statewide
Authorizes $453 million in bonds for transportation work. The proposition includes more than $130 million for port and harbor improvements, dock replacements and rural roads.
Passed

Arkansas
Issue 1: Statewide
Permits a 10-year, half-cent sales tax increase to cover a $1.8 billion bond issue for roads and bridges. Also permanently dedicates 1 penny from fuel taxes for municipal street construction and improvements.
Passed

Arizona
Proposition 204: Statewide
Sought a permanent 1-cent-per-dollar sales tax to benefit schools, transportation and human resources. Estimated to raise $1 billion in the first year, the bulk of proceeds would have been devoted to education, with about 20 percent split between transportation and human resources.
Failed

Proposition 409: Tucson
Would allocate $100 million in bonds to restore, repair, resurface and improve the condition of streets over five years.
Failed

California
Proposition 33: Statewide
Called for scaling back restrictions that prevent insurance companies from setting vehicle insurance rates based on a driver’s history of coverage.
Failed

Measure B1: Alameda County
Proposed doubling the one-half cent transportation sales tax. The 30-year, $7.7 billion initiative would have been used to fix potholes, improve roads and freeways, and expand public transit throughout the county.
Failed

Measure U: Amador County
Renews county’s abandoned vehicle abatement program. The program charges $1 for personal vehicles and $2 for large trucks to help pay to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vehicles from public and private property.
Passed

Measure H: Butte County
Continues fees to cover the abandoned vehicle abatement program. The program charges $1 for personal vehicles and $2 for large trucks to help pay to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vehicles from public and private property.
Passed

Measure B: Calaveras County
Renews county’s abandoned vehicle abatement program. The program charges $1 for personal vehicles and $2 for large trucks to help pay to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vehicles from public and private property.
Passed

Measure J: Los Angeles County
Whether to extend from 30 years to 60 years the length of a half-cent sales tax for public transportation projects across the region.
Failed

Measure G: Mendocino County
Continues county’s abandoned vehicle abatement program for 10 years. The program involves charging a $1 fee for each personal vehicle in the county. For large trucks, the fee is $2 per vehicle. The fee is added to license renewal costs.
Passed

Measure T: Napa County
Raises the sales tax by one-half cent for local streets and roads. The 25-year tax is estimated to raise about $11 million annually.
Passed

Measure M: Berkeley
Authorizes borrowing $30 million with a portion being used to improve local roads. Will cost homeowners about $11 per $100,000 of assessed value during the next 30 years.
Passed

Measure O: Capitola
Permanently increases the local sales tax by a quarter-cent to benefit public safety and street improvements.
Passed

Measure AA: Commerce
Authorizes a one-half cent sales tax increase for sources that include road repair and maintenance.
Passed

Measure Y: Culver City
Adopts a decade-long half-cent sales tax increase on goods and services to benefit police, fire, streets and more.
Passed

Measure P: Fairfield
Imposes a one-cent sales tax on goods and services within the city for five years. It is estimated to raise about $12 million a year for road and median maintenance, as well as street lighting.
Passed

Measure I: La Mirada
Applies a one cent sales tax increase to roads. It is estimated to raise about $5 million during the next five years.
Passed

Measure K: Moraga
Adds a one-cent sales tax for the next 20 years. An estimated $1 million a year will be used to benefit local streets and other general town services.
Passed

Measure N: Murrieta
Bans use of red-light cameras at all four intersections currently posted with the devices.
Passed

Measure EE: Newport Beach
Decide whether future city councils can enact an ordinance to permit or authorize any photo enforcement. Instead, voters would have to decide whether to allow cameras to be used.
Passed

Measure L: Orinda
Authorizes a half-cent sales tax increase on goods and services to aid road repairs. Estimated to raise about $6.7 million during the next decade.
Passed


Measure E: Paso Robles
Increases the sales tax by one-half cent for 12 years. About $3 million annually will be used for street repairs, maintenance and improvements.
Passed

Measure F: Paso Robles
An advisory question for future city councils to use revenue from Measure E specifically for roads.
Passed

Measure E: Salinas
Permanently extends a half-cent sales tax increase. A portion of the $10 million annually raised from the increase will be applied to roads.
Passed

Measure I: Vacaville
Continues the city’s existing excise tax for another 25 years. It generates $2.3 million annually.
Passed

Measure U: Yucca Valley
Called for raising the local sales tax by 1 cent for the next 30 years to benefit various budgets, including roads.
Failed

Colorado
Question 5A: El Paso County
Extends the 1 percent sales and use tax to fund the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority capital program for 12 more years.
Passed

Question 2B: Aurora
Would have authorized the city to use $74 million in bonds for transportation related projects.
Failed

Florida
Question 1: Alachua County
Sought to pass a three-quarter percent sales tax for roads. The 15-year tax was estimated to generate $22.5 million annually.
Failed

Question 1: Pasco County
Renews the current penny sales tax in the county for another 10 years. An extension is projected to raise about $502 million during the next decade for such purposes as transportation projects.
Passed

Illinois
Question 1: Stephenson County
Voters showed support for a county-wide transit system funded by federal, state and county funds. It is an advisory question, meaning it is not binding.
Passed

Louisiana
Referendum: Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes
Whether the collection of tolls to access the Crescent City Connection should be extended for 20 years. Toll collection on the U.S. 90 crossing is scheduled to end Dec, 31, 2012.
Too close to call

Maine
Question 4: Statewide
Authorizes a $51 million bond issue for highways, bridges, local roads, rail and ports. Approval would make the state eligible for at least $105 million in federal matching funds.
Passed

Massachusetts
Question 1: Statewide
Requires vehicle manufacturers, including large truck makers, to provide consumers with access to the same diagnostic and repair information made available to dealers and the state’s authorized repair facilities.
Passed

Michigan
Proposal 6: Statewide
Called for amending the state constitution and to require a public vote before any new international bridge or tunnel is built connecting Michigan and Canada, including the New International Trade Crossing.
Failed

Question 1: Walker
Sought to end the city’s association with The Rapid transit system. Taxpayers are on the hook to contribute to the program until 2018.
Failed

North Carolina
Referendum 1: Orange County
Raises the sales tax by one-half cent for regional transit. The $661 million project will benefit a combination of new bus and rail service.
Passed

Ohio
Issue 3: Mahoning County
Renews the 0.25-percent sales tax to benefit the Western Reserve Transit Authority for five years.
Passed

Issue 37: Chagrin Falls
Called for increasing the tax rate from 0.5 percent to 2 percent to help cover the costs of improvements and maintenance to local roads.
Failed

Oregon
34-201: Cornelius
Sought to repeal a 2-cent-per-gallon tax to pay for roads. It has generated about $160,000 since it took effect.
Failed

20-197: Eugene
Authorizes the city to renew up to $43 million in bonds for street repairs. The bonds will be paid during the next five years through property taxes at an estimated rate of 65 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Passed

3-420: Government Camp
Sets up a special road district and new tax to pay for road maintenance, drainage, signage, snow plowing and street lighting. Property owners are responsible for paying about 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The permanent tax is estimated to raise about $62,000 annually.
Passed

3-406: Lake Oswego
Authorizes up to $5 million in bonds to help pay for improvements to Boones Ferry Road.
Passed

15-117: Rogue River
Authorizes using $1.6 million in bonds to pay for street improvements and maintenance.
Passed

34-203 Tigard
Requires voter approval before authorizing new or added taxes or fees for light rail construction.
Passed

South Carolina
Question 1: Richland County
Raises the sales tax by a penny-on-the-dollar to sustain and improve roads, bus service and pedestrian routes. The tax is estimated to generate $1.17 billion during the next 22 years. About two-thirds of the revenue will be applied to roads.
Passed

Tennessee
Ordinance 5464: Memphis
Sought to increase the local gas tax by 1 cent per gallon to benefit transit. The tax on all gas sales within city limits was estimated to raise between $3 million to $6 million annually for the Memphis Area Transit Authority.
Failed

Texas
Referendum 1: Houston
Continues until 2026 the diversion of a portion of the area transit authority’s 1 percent sales tax revenue to local governments.
Passed

Proposition 5: League City
Requires red-light cameras to be taken down when the city’s contract with Redflex ends in 2014.
Passed

Virginia
Question 1: Arlington County
Authorizes a $32 million bond to support capital projects for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and other transit, pedestrian and road projects.
Passed

Referendum 1: Virginia Beach
Encourages the city council to adopt an ordinance approving the use of “all reasonable efforts” to support the financing and development of The Tide light rail into Virginia Beach. It is an advisory question.
Passed

Washington
Initiative 1185: Statewide
Mandates that state lawmakers get a two-thirds majority to approve and tax increase. The only other option to pass an increase would be a public vote.
Passed

Proposition 1: Clark County
Sought to raise the sales tax by one-tenth of 1 percent to pay for light rail operation and maintenance for C-Tran. It was estimated to raise about $5 million annually to pay for the proposed line across the Columbia River Crossing and a bus rapid transit project in Vancouver.
Failed

Proposition 1: Pierce County
Sought to increase the 0.6 percent sales tax by three-tenths of one percent to avoid additional cuts to transit. It would have raised about $28 million annually.
Failed

Proposition 1: Castle Rock
Authorizes a sales tax of up to two-tenths of 1 percent for 10 years to benefit transportation improvements.
Passed

Proposition 2: Longview
Asked voters whether they think the city should impose a $20 annual license tab for road maintenance. It would raise $550,000 annually. The question is advisory only.
Passed

Proposition 1: Lynden
Raises the sales tax by two tenths of 1 percent to help pay for road improvements, pedestrian trails and bridges. The 10-year tax is estimated to raise $300,000 annually.
Passed

Proposition 1: Kent
Authorized an additional 37 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for streets and parks. It would have raised about $29 million over six years.
Failed

Proposition 1: Kirkland
Increases the street levy by a rate of 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to cover maintenance costs and pedestrian safety projects.An estimated $3 million a year will be raised for pothole repair and repaving.
Passed

Proposition 2: Monroe
Asked voters whether they think the city should continue to use traffic-enforcement cameras. The question is advisory only.
Failed

For more 2012 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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