President Obama has released his 2017 budget proposal. It includes money for the streetcar project in Sacramento and West Sacramento.
Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen says the inclusion of the project in the proposed federal budget is significant.
"Before, we were in a bucket of tentative projects. What the President's budget included was a specific $75 million for us. That had never been done before. This reflects a lot of work between then and now which is an improved environmental review and an improved ridership forecast. "
Hansen says a federal contribution would bring the amount of guaranteed dollars to $130 million, which is still $37 million shy of the project cost.
To close that gap, Hansen says the city could reduce the scope of the project or could create an assessment district for business owners in the project area.
Voters living within the project's footprint in Sacramento voted against a special tax district last year that would have raised an estimated $30 million even though the land owners had approved of the tax in an earlier advisory vote.
The city hopes the State of California will contribute $10 million to the project from the Cap and Trade program.