Marina, CA (August 10, 2016) The Board of Directors of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) has voted unanimously to support two transportation tax measures that will be on the November 2016 ballot. Improving our region’s transportation routes and services aligns with MBEP’s mission to creating a thriving region and a high quality of life for all residents.
In Santa Cruz County, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is proposing a one-half percent sales tax increase to finance the Transportation Improvement Plan (TRIP). The Plan, approved by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, identifies specific transportation projects in Santa Cruz County to be funded in order to meet current and projected transportation needs. One half of one percent sales tax is expected to generate $17 million a year in 2016 dollars, totaling approximately $500 million over 30 years. These local funds can be used to leverage state and federal transportation funds for Santa Cruz to become a “self-help” county.
The measure, which needs a two-thirds majority for approval, has also been endorsed by the Santa Cruz and Watsonville City Councils, United Way, Dominican Hospital/Dignity Health, PAMF, Plantronics, Monterey Bay Labor Council, Visit Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce, Ecology Action, Friends of the Rail Trail, Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Business Council and Trail Now, among others.
“The Transportation Improvement Plan is a balanced set of investments that will make progress to improve the growing amount of deferred maintenance on our roads, Highway 1 congestion, METRO operations and the bike and pedestrian trail through Santa Cruz County,” said Bud Colligan, Co-Chair of MBEP.
In Monterey County, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) has proposed a similar measure for the November 2016 ballot, calling for a three-eighths percent sales tax increase to finance its Transportation Safety and Investment Plan. The measure has been approved by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors for inclusion on the November ballot. The purpose of the plan is to generate $600 million in additional revenue over the next 30 years for road maintenance and regional projects, including improving safety on local roads and highways, repairing potholes, maintaining streets and roads, reducing traffic congestion, improving transportation for seniors, young people, and people with disabilities, and making walking and biking safer. If the sales tax is approved, Monterey County will become a “self-help” county.
The measure, which needs a two-thirds majority for approval, has also been endorsed by Alliance for Jobs, Big Sur Land Trust, CHOMP, COPA, Cal State Monterey Bay, Graniterock Company, Monterey County Hospitality Association, Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Monterey-Salinas Transit and the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, among others.
“The Transportation Safety and Investment Plan represents a consensus plan from cities, businesses, non-profits, and other transportation advocates,” said Lorri Koster, Chairman and CEO of Mann Packing and MBEP Board Member. “The Plan will reverse the decline in area roads and provide targeted investments to improve safety and transportation throughout Monterey County.”
About MBEP: The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is a regional nonprofit, membership organization consisting of public, private and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz. MBEP’s mission is to create a thriving region with quality jobs, excellent education and health care, and a high quality of life for all residents while preserving the natural beauty and healthy lifestyle we all share.