ELECTION 2016: Voters weigh in on transportation issues

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, November 10, 2016

During the Nov. 8 election voters in nearly half of the 50 states had their say on various transportation-related initiatives with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. Land Line tracked hundreds of measures covering statewide, county and local ballot initiatives. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how some notable initiatives fared on ballots.

Amendment 12: Statewide
Whether to authorize the Legislature to allow cities in Baldwin County to build and operate toll roads and bridges. Toll road authorities are permitted to sell bonds to finance the projects.

Proposition 53: Statewide
To require a public vote before the state could issue more than $2 billion in revenue bonds. It would also prohibit dividing projects into multiple projects to avoid a statewide voter approval requirement. The rule would apply to previously approved projects if the remaining bond amount exceeds $2 billion, such as the high-speed rail, or “bullet train,” project.

Measure RR: Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco
A 40-year, $3.5 billion bond program funded by property taxes for transit purposes.

Measure X: Contra Costa County
A 30-year, $2.9 billion expenditure plan to use a half-cent sales tax for public transportation projects and fixing local streets and roads.

Measure U: Humboldt County
A 20-year, half-percent transportation and use tax for purposes that include road improvements. The county would use $2 million annually for resurfacing roads.

Measure M: Los Angeles County
To renew a half-cent sales tax for road projects. An additional half-cent sales tax increase is included to expand and improve light rail and subway lines. Estimated to raise $120 billion over 40 years. However, it does not include a sunset date.

Measure V: Merced County
A 30-year sales tax for projects that include fixing potholes and maintaining local roads.

Measure X: Monterey County
Authorize a three-eighths percent sales tax to benefit local road maintenance and benefit transit and pedestrian projects. It would raise $600 million annually for 30 years.

Measure M: Placer County
A 30-year, half-cent sales tax to raise $1.6 billion for work that includes funding highway projects, public transit, and local street maintenance and improvements.

Measure B: Sacramento County
A 30-year, half-cent sales tax to raise $120 million annually for regional transit and road projects. Roads would receive 70 percent of revenue with the rest routed to transit.

Measure A: San Diego County
To raise the local sales tax by one-half cent for projects that include freeway and bridge repair, pothole/street repairs, and congestion relief and transit. The 40-year tax is estimated to raise $18.2 billion.

Propositions K: San Francisco County
Authorize a 25-year, three-quarter-cent sales tax to raise up to $155 million annually for multiple purposes. Two-thirds of the funding would be dedicated for transportation. About half of the amount collected for transportation would be used for street projects. Transit would get the rest.

Measure J-16: San Luis Obispo County
A nine-year, half-percent sales tax to raise $25 million annually to fix potholes; repave local streets; relieve traffic congestion; improve street, highway and bridge safety; and make bike and transit improvements.

Measure B: Santa Clara County
A 30-year, half-cent sales tax to fund $6.5 billion in road and transit projects. Highways would get $2.85 billion and $1.2 billion would be allocated for local streets.

Measure D: Santa Cruz County
A 30-year, half-cent sales tax increase to raise $17 million annually for transit and transportation infrastructure projects.

Measure L: Stanislaus County
Authorize a 30-year, one-half cent sales tax increase to raise as much as $3.6 billion. Road projects would claim 70 percent of the revenue and transit projects would get the other 30 percent.

Measure AA: Ventura County
Would raise $3.3 billion over 30 years via a half-cent increase in the sales tax for projects that include freeway improvements, pothole repair, street repaving, and bridge work. Revenue would also finance bus and rail improvements.

Measure KK: City of Oakland
To issue $600 million general obligation bonds for roads and affordable housing. Various street repairs and maintenance would claim 82 percent.

Measure 1A: Boulder County
Increase property tax for 15 years to fund road and bridge projects. Estimated to raise $5.5 million annually, with cities and towns splitting nearly half the amount.

Issue 1A: La Plata County
Authorize a 10-year, 2.4-mill levy to fund county road and bridge construction and maintenance via a property tax increase. Estimated to raise $4.5 billion.

Question 4: Broward County
A half-cent sales tax increase for transportation work. The county would receive half for projects that include light rail expansion and traffic light synchronization. Unincorporated Broward County and 31 municipalities would get the rest of the revenue for infrastructure projects, such as road repairs.

Referendum 1: Bay County
Authorize a 10-year, half-cent sales tax to benefit local infrastructure. A portion would be used to pave and maintain roads, reduce traffic congestion.

Question: Indian River County
To extend for 15 years a one-cent sales tax to benefit infrastructure that includes road and bridge improvements. Without the extension, collection of the sales tax is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2019.

Question 6: Manatee County
Authorize a 15-year, half-cent sales tax for public infrastructure with three-fourths of the $30 million annually allotted to help reduce traffic congestion and improve roadways throughout the county

Question 1: Palm Beach County
A 10-year, $2.7 billion penny increase in sales tax to pay for upgrades to roads, bridges, schools and county buildings.

Question 7: St. Lucie County
To raise the sales tax by one-half cent for 20 years to pay for road improvements and water improvement projects.

Question 2: Fulton County
Whether to increase the sales tax by three-fourths cent for roads and transit improvements outside city limits of Atlanta. The tax would raise $650 million over five years to relieve traffic congestion in North Fulton and unincorporated areas of South Fulton. Locales in South Fulton could use the revenue for road maintenance and resurfacing.

Question 1: Gwinnett County
Would renew a 1 percent sales tax to raise $950 million over six years for roads and other construction projects. The county will receive 79 percent of the tax proceeds, while cities will divide about 21 percent.

Question 2: City of Atlanta
A five-year, four-tenths-cent sales tax increase to raise $380 million for projects that include improvements to the BeltLine. Funds could also be used for synchronizing the city’s traffic lights.

Amendment: Statewide
To enact a transportation “lockbox” to prevent state lawmakers and the governor’s office from using revenues from the state’s road fund for purposes not related to transportation. The protection would not apply to state and local sales taxes.

Question 1: Peoria County
Authorize a 15-year, one-quarter percent local sales tax increase to pay for road improvements and other transportation purposes. Estimated to raise $9 million to finance $70 million in bonds to be paid off in 20 years.

Proposition 145: Marion County
A 30-year, one-quarter percent income tax increase to raise $56 million annually to expand bus service and bus rapid transit lines in Indianapolis.

Amendment 5: Statewide
Would establish the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund for construction projects and transportation infrastructure. Fund would be covered by corporate and oil taxes.

Question: City of Lake Charles
Renew a 10-year, one-cent sales tax to raise $25 million annually. More than half of proceeds to be used for purposes that include road, bridge, and sidewalk maintenance.

Question 6: Statewide
Authorize $100 million in general bond revenues with $80 million designated for construction and maintenance of state highways and local bridges, and $20 million for projects that include the state’s ports, harbors, and transit and freight rail.

Proposal: Counties of Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw
To add a 1.2-mill regional tax to raise $4.6 billion over 20 years for work that includes a bus rapid transit system and a commuter rail line linking Detroit and Ann Arbor

Proposition A: Statewide
Would increase taxes on cigarettes by 23 cents per pack of 20 by 2021 to benefit transportation work. An additional 5 percent sales tax would be applied for other tobacco products. Once fully implemented, tax revenue is estimated to generate between $95 million and $103 million.

Question 5: Clark County
To more than triple the local fuel tax rate over 10 years to provide $3 billion in funding for road construction and maintenance projects.

New Jersey
Question 2: Statewide
Set up a transportation lockbox to ensure that all revenue from the state’s fuel taxes permanently goes toward improving transportation infrastructure. All revenue from the petroleum products gross receipts tax that is added to the state’s fuel rates would also be dedicated to the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

North Carolina
Question 1: Wake County
Authorize a half-cent sales tax to help fund a new $2.3 billion regional transit plan that includes commuter trains between Raleigh, Research Triangle Park and Durham. The plan also expands bus service.

Question 4: City of Greensboro
A $126 million bond measure that would allot a portion of the revenue for transportation work.

Measure 3-509: Clackamas County
To impose a gas tax rate of 6 cents per gallon for seven years for pavement work. The tax would be added to the state gasoline tax rate of 30 cents to raise $9 million annually.

Measure 5-255: Columbia County
Whether to increase the county’s depletion fee by 35 cents to 50 cents per ton. Of the new revenue, an additional dime would be earmarked for road and bridge maintenance. The other 25 cents would be applied to the county’s transit service.

Measure 26-180: City of Portland
Would apply a local sales tax to recreational marijuana purchases. Additional revenue would benefit projects that include street work.

Measure 20-252: City of Springfield
To double the existing local fuel tax from 3 cents to 6 cents to raise an estimated $1.1 million each year for street repair and preservation.

Rhode Island
Question 5: Statewide
Authorize the state to request to borrow $70 million to fund improvements to the Port of Davisville at Quonset and the Port of Providence.

South Carolina
Local Question 1: Beaufort County
Whether to authorize a four-year, $120 million one cent sales tax increase for infrastructure projects.

Question 1: Charleston County
A half-cent sales tax increase to fund road projects, mass transit and greenbelt projects. The tax would be collected for 25 years or until it raises $2.1 billion, whichever comes first. Roads would receive nearly three-fourths of the revenue.

Question 1: Horry County
Would authorize an eight-year, 1 percent sales tax increase to raise nearly $600 million for road projects.

Proposition 1: City of Austin
Issue $720 million in transportation and mobility improvement bonds for work that includes major road corridors. Specifically, $482 million would be designated for “smart corridor” improvements.

Proposition 1: Millard County
To raise $450,000 annually via a quarter-cent sales and use tax for projects that include local street improvements and traffic safety features.

Proposition 10: Summit County
Would increase the local sales tax by one-quarter cent to raise an estimated $8 million annually for transit, and road and highway improvements.

Proposition 1: Washington County
Whether to increase the local sales tax by one-quarter cent to raise $3 million annually for road and transit work.

Referendum: Arlington County
Whether to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $58 million for roads and transit

Referendum: Fairfax County
Would issue $120 million in general bond obligations over four years for roads and transit.

Initiative 732: Statewide
To collect a carbon emissions tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity. Plans call for setting the carbon emission tax at $15 per metric ton in July 2017. The tax would increase to $25 one year later. Each year thereafter the tax would increase by 3.5 percent plus inflation until the tax reaches $100 per metric ton.

Proposition 1: Counties of King, Snohomish and Pierce
A 25-year, $54 billion plan to extend light rail and other services. Half of the money would come via a one-half percent sales tax increase, a 0.8 percent vehicle tax increase, and a property tax increase by 25 cents per $1,000 assessed value. The other half would come from existing Sound Transit financing, federal grants, bond sales and fares.

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