June 15, 2024

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Tax measure for ailing Bay Area transit system advances, with caveat

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Tax measure for ailing Bay Area transit system advances, with caveat

A tax measure to shore up funding for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit district approved by the California Senate Friday could be derailed by local opposition before it hits the 2026 ballot.

Senate Bill 1031, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Sen. Aisha Wahab, D-Hayward, passed the Senate Friday on a 26-10 vote and now heads to the Assembly.

It would authorize a ballot measure in the nine-county Bay Area to generate funds for the BART system, which is sales tax measures, including a 2008 measure dedicated to funding a BART extension to San Jose.

The VCA board voted to oppose the proposed MTC measure in early May, saying it would compete with a $900 million measure they were contemplating placing on the ballot.

The latest version of SB 1031 would require that counties keep 70% of the money they raise through the measure to benefit their own transit agencies, with the threshold rising to 90% in the sixth year.