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Should There Be A Half-Cent Sales Tax Increase For Sacramento County?

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

People who live in Sacramento County might be asked to consider a half-cent sales tax increase this fall.

Kerri Howell, Board Chair for the Sacramento Transportation Authority, says the STA is considering ballot measure B, which would raise $3.6 billion for road and mass transit projects in the next 30 years.

"Some of the money would be spent on street and road maintenance," says Howell. "There's significant capital projects including Capital City Freeway improvements, potential expansions of light rail and the southeast connector road, which is the road that's proposed to go from basically Latrobe Road in Eldorado Hills all the way down to 99."

Howell says federal funding used to cover 90 percent of highway project costs, but now covers about 33 percent.

County voters approved an existing half-cent sales tax in 1989 and renewed an extension of the tax in 2004 to take effect in 2009 and last through 2039.

Howell says improvements won't happen without an increase in money, despite the available funds from Measure A.

"We knew that at the time there wasn't sufficient local match money available from Measure A in order to build, as an example, the connector road," says Howell. "And the other major thing that's happened in transportation funding has been a dramatic decrease in both the amount of state and federal money that's available to build these projects."

The authority is meeting Wednesday to discuss the possibility of Measure B on the November ballot.  

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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