At the July monthly board meeting of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association (CoCoTax), the board voted to support the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) proposal to increase and extend the transportation sales tax surcharge currently in effect. This measure will appear on November ballots in Contra Costa. Voters in the county have previously approved two such sales tax surcharges to fund needed transportation improvements such as the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, and other projects and maintenance programs.
The vote followed a vigorous discussion, which focused primarily on the inclusion in this measure of $300M to help finance the expansion of the BART fleet. The county transportation authority has included language in the measure to ensure that the other two BART counties will contribute like amounts, and that BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will also contribute substantial funds to pay for expanding the fleet and related train control system and station improvements.
BART is also proposing a $3.5 billion bond on the November ballot to finance fleet expansion and upgrade. There was unanimous concern expressed by the board regarding BART’s management of taxpayers’ dollars and labor relations in particular. CoCoTax will shortly take the BART measure up separately for evaluation and a vote on our position.