ASSEMBLY | Measure B1, the Alameda County initiative to fund transportation projects with a half-cent sales tax increase that failed last November by the slimmest of margins, may get another chance to go before voters.
Fremont Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski is resurrecting a variation of a bill successfully passed into law in 2011 allowing for the ill-fated Measure B1 to be placed on the ballot. If passed, AB 210 will grant Alameda County the window of opportunity to make another run at a second transportation measure sometime before Jan. 1, 2017.
Like Wieckowski’s previous bill that granted the county an exemption to raise local taxes in any given year more than the two percent threshold laid out in Proposition 13, this latest iteration would cap the potential measure at no more than 0.5 percent. However, the previous bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown characterized the exemption as one-time only.
Measure B1, which sought to reauthorize the successful transportation referendum, known as Measure B, failed to reach the necessary two-thirds majority needed for passage last November, garnering 66.53 percent of the vote, or just over 700 votes of winning. While the more densely-populated areas of the East Bay supported the measure in great numbers, voters in the Tri-Valley thwarted the effort. Just a single precinct in the entire region of Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore reached over two-thirds of the vote.
“The result of Measure B1 not only shows that the voters understand how important it is to invest in our infrastructure, but that a strong majority supports doing so,” said Wieckowski. “The transportation demands of the county are not going to disappear.”
The bill is co-authored by East Bay Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner, Rob Bonta, Joan Buchanan and Bill Quirk.