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December 13, 2019



The community college bond coming up next year.

Paloma Ave

In an area where a democrat HAS NEVER opposed a new tax, the voters continue to elect a democrat.

Barking Dog

Jan 1, 2021 I give myself a raise becoming a Nevada "resident". Bye Bye long arm of the California tax machine for me...


The Caltrain Board is still mulling which tax to send to voters.....

As deadlines approach for placing regional tax measures on the November ballot, Caltrain board members seem to favor one of two proposed approaches for funding the railroad: a eighth-cent sales tax in the three counties served by Caltrain.

The other proposal is a Bay Area-wide one-cent sales tax increase known as FASTER Bay Area that would generate $100 billion for transit over the next 40 years.

Caltrain board members are concerned that even if FASTER Bay Area makes it onto the November ballot — lawmakers in Sacramento are currently weighing whether to do so — it may not sufficiently benefit Caltrain.



In the hunt for a silver lining in all this:

The coalition working to place a 1 cent sales tax hike for public transportation on the November ballot announced Tuesday the effort is being put on hold because of the spread of novel coronavirus.

Known as FASTER Bay Area, the sales tax would have raised $100 billion over several decades for regional rail and express bus projects, among others. The coalition promoting the tax includes the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area Council, two business advocacy organizations, as well as urban planning organization SPUR.



Four headlines for y'all:

Caltrain sales tax effort fails - EssEff supervisors decline to advance the tax to the ballot. The train may shut down by the end of the year,

BART pleads as losses pile high - ridership is 11% of normal and it's losing $40M a month with little ability to reduce what they call fixed costs.

High-Speed Rail Continues Building California and Celebrates Creating 4,000 Construction Jobs

California High-Speed Rail Authority Launches Online Resources for San Francisco to San Jose Project Section Community Open House

It looks like we won't be needing "passing tracks".

Paloma Ave

I just fell out of my chair! S.F. said NO to a new tax?

Hell has frozen over!


If Caltrain advocates (and I count myself one) want to succeed (survive), they would do well to put a muzzle on Charles Stone:

Without a robust rail system, future urban development along El Camino Real and in the South Bay would also be at risk, Stone said. It’s unclear what Caltrain ceasing operation would mean for Google’s planned megaproject near San Jose Diridon Station, which aims to transform 60 acres into an office campus, a hotel, parks, shops and up to 5,000 homes.

“That Grand Boulevard vision that we all want, with increased housing density along the transit lines, needs to have transit in order to work,” Stone said. He is also a Belmont city councilman who champions infrastructure to make cities more walkable and bikeable and reverse decades of suburban sprawl on the Peninsula.



I received an email that the State was going to start the environmental study for the high speed rail on the Peninsula from San Jose to San Francisco. This isn't dead yet? Think the money would be better spent saving cal train and Bart.


When is a "Caltrain tax" not a Caltrain tax anymore?

Under the proposed agreement obtained by The Chronicle, all funds generated by the one-eighth-cent sales tax would go back to the county in which they are collected. The money would be deposited in an account controlled by the county’s transit agency, which would then have the authority to give all of it — or a fraction of it — to Caltrain.

To untangle that setup, the supervisors stipulated in their proposal that if the three counties can’t strike a deal on governance by an unspecified date, then they would each be allowed to spend the tax money on their own transit projects along the corridor, instead of giving it to Caltrain.



The saga continues:

“The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an alternative sales tax measure that is illegal, unwinnable at the polls and unworkable for Caltrain,” said Caltrain board Chair Dave Pine, also a San Mateo County Supervisor, in a statement. “Unless amended, this poison pill means the Caltrain sales tax is now dead, which puts the railroad in great peril.”

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors last month approved the sales tax, but not the same one approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. That measure includes various conditions, including withholding funds, supermajority voting requirements and demands for changes related to Caltrain’s governance structure.

Pine said tying the above conditions to the sales tax is illegal because it’s not permitted by Senate Bill 797, the legislation that allows a sales tax to be levied for Caltrain. That opinion has been echoed by San Mateo County Counsel John Beiers and San Mateo County Transit District Special Counsel James Wagstaffe, Pine said.



Was it ever really in doubt?????

After weeks of contentious negotiations, the one-eighth cent sales tax for Caltrain cleared a final hurdle Friday and is officially headed to the November ballot.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors — at a special meeting just hours before the deadline — unanimously approved a “clean” version of the tax without conditions. It was the last of seven boards needed to sign off on the measure before it could go before voters.


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