AC Transit, East Bay, Election Coverage, Transit Funding

November 2008 Election: Yes on Measure VV (AC Transit Parcel Tax)

There has been an hypocrisy underlying the conversation in California concerning transit and sustainability. On the one hand, we talk about curbing sprawl and offsetting climate change; but on the other hand, we also yank the funds that already cash-strapped transit agencies need to operate. This year, AC Transit, which provides fuel-dependent bus service, got a double hit, both from rising fuel prices and from the months-overdue state budget that ultimately deprived the agency of over $15.6 million. To close the funding gap, AC Transit staff had recommended fare increases earlier this year, with the steepest increases borne by some of the most transit-dependent of East Bay residents: the youth, senior, and disabled who use monthly bus passes. The community protested the impending fare increase, and it was in response to that mobilization that the AC Transit Board placed the Measure VV parcel tax on the November ballot. (That’s VV with two V’s, not one W.) If passed, Measure VV would levy a tax of an additional $48 per parcel per year on property owners in the cities that receive AC Transit service, except for Union City and Fremont. The tax would begin on July 1, 2009, and would be collected through June 30, 2019, providing AC Transit with an estimated $14 million annually.

The proceeds from Measure VV will be used to fund operations and maintenance, with expenditures monitored by a citizen oversight committee. This money is necessary to allow AC Transit to maintain its current level of operation without having to penalize its most transit-dependent customers by slashing service and hiking fares. Yes, it’s another tax — but as such, it requires 2/3 approval by voters in order to pass. When the state budget is unkind to transit, sometimes it falls on local taxpayers to tie up the loose ends. So all we can do is ask East Bay voters to find it in their hearts to protect vital transit service by voting Yes on Measure VV.

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “November 2008 Election: Yes on Measure VV (AC Transit Parcel Tax)

  1. hypocrisy? mendacity and maybe embezzlement.
    Viz.. Governator steals from spillover fund, then schedules spin and grin sessions to distribute the dedicated funding to BUILD but not to operate transit. Naturally those funds go to the least useful agencies/projects. ‘course if AC Transit continues to burn money on rider hostile buses, VV will be good money after bad

    Posted by david vartanoff | 1 November 2008, 6:53 pm
  2. Well, I usually try to stay at least reasonably level-headed in the posts, so that the comments can push things to their limits ;-)

    Posted by Eric | 1 November 2008, 8:27 pm
  3. So this tax doesn’t even cover the state budget cut! Talk about passing the buck, now ACT has to submit to humiliating election where people like dv here complain incessantly about the Van Hools.

    Posted by dto510 | 2 November 2008, 11:34 pm
  4. I’ll stay away from the Van Hool debate.

    AC Transit does an admirable job on its operations side. Keeping decent service in the urban East Bay on a bare bones budget. I wish I could vote for VV, alas I’m a Fremont voter.

    Posted by happy biker | 3 November 2008, 10:00 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: November 2008 Election: Results and Reflections « Transbay Blog - 6 November 2008

  2. Pingback: Shifting Funds, Shifty Priorities « Transbay Blog - 26 March 2009

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