Go Sonoma – Measure M Transportation Sales Tax Extension
SCTLC supports Go Sonoma – it will allow Sonoma County to remain a “self-help” county, which qualifies it to get federal and other grants requiring a local match. We can expect Congress to fund infrastructure stimulus projects soon; since Measure M funds are already committed, Go Sonoma is necessary to attract future project money.
“Go Sonoma” will be on the November 3, 2020 ballot with the following ballot language:
“Without raising taxes, shall the Sonoma County Transportation Authority implement the Go Sonoma Act to repair potholes; reduce congestion; make biking and walking safer; expand local bus service; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; improve evacuation routes; and enhance transportation services for students and seniors by continuing, for 20 years, the current ¼-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation, providing approximately $26 million annually?”
SCTLC Policy Statement: Reauthorize Measure M, but change the criteria for evaluating projects to prioritize building greenhouse-gas-reducing projects first.
See Steve Birdlebough’s April 29 Email to the SCTA Ad-Hoc Committee for more detail about evaluating and prioritizing projects.
See SCTA’s New Measure Infrastructure Projects list with SCTLC’s informal ranking of projects by environmental priority in pencil.
#1 projects are very likely to enable reductions in GHG emissions
#2 projects are somewhat likely to enable reductions in GHG emissions
#3 projects are likely to have little effect on GHG emissions
#4 projects are likely to result in increased GHG emissions.
Of the roughly 100 projects that have been listed in the Draft Expenditure Plan, about 65 appear to be likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), at a total combined cost of about $507 million. However, about 15 projects appear to be likely to increase GHGs at a total combined cost of about $433 million.
Measure M* – As federal and state funds for transportation dwindle, county and regional ballot measures become the main tool for innovation and development of local transportation systems.
Sonoma County passed Measure M (Traffic Relief Act for Sonoma County) in 2004. Measure M raises locally-controlled funding (a 1/4 cent sales tax) for transportation projects within the county, including Highway 101 widening, road improvements, pothole filling, and supporting the SMART train, buses, and bike/ped infrastructure. SCTA administers the funds through the Measure M Expenditure Plan. The latest SCTA Measure M Strategic Plan can be found here.