Auto Club Urges Motorists to Vote on Important Transportation Issues Nov. 7

Propositions 1A, 1B and Four County Sales Tax Measures
Will Provide Vital Funding to Reduce Traffic Congestion
 

(LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25, 2006) — The Automobile Club of Southern California is encouraging all voters to get the facts about two important statewide transportation measures on the upcoming election ballot. In addition, voters in Kern, Orange, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties will be asked to approve local transportation sales tax measures dedicated to local road and transit projects.

California ’s transportation system has deteriorated from under-investment in the past few decades while traffic on it has dramatically increased, said Alice Bisno, the Auto Club’s vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs. The state currently has more than $100 billion in unfunded transportation needs, which the Nov. 7 transportation measures will help to address, she added.

Proposition 1A will assure that the sales tax Californians pay on gasoline is used only for transportation.

“In 2002, Proposition 42 was approved by 69 percent of voters to dedicate the sales tax on gasoline to transportation, but a loophole allowed this money – in excess of $1 billion each year – to be easily diverted to other uses,” Bisno said. “Proposition 1A fixes the loophole and ensures that the expectations of California voters will be respected by dedicating approximately $1.3 billion annually in sales tax funding to relieving traffic congestion.”

Proposition 1A would require the state to pay back the nearly $2.5 billion in sales tax on gasoline that it has already taken, allow future loans for fiscal emergencies but require repayment within three years, and prohibit borrowing more if prior loans are unpaid.

Proposition 1B will enable the state to issue nearly $20 billion in bonds to accelerate construction of vital transportation projects.

“Road construction costs are rising by an average of 7 percent each year, far faster than inflation,” Bisno said. “By using bonds, California will be able to build these projects now and bring traffic relief more quickly to drivers.”

For more information on Propositions 1A and 1B, voters can visit www.yeson1aand1b.com.

In addition to the two statewide measures, residents in four Southern California counties will be voting to create or renew local sales-tax measures that would provide dedicated funding to local transportation projects.

The Auto Club is supporting these county transportation measures because they provide locally controlled funding to pay for projects that are a high priority for local residents,” Bisno said. “The money cannot be taken by the state or used for non-transportation purposes, and an independent oversight committee audits the use of the funds to ensure they are spent as intended. No more than 1 percent of funding from the measures can be spent on administration.”

The measures are:

Kern County Measure I
Measure I will provide Kern County with an additional $920 million over 20 years in locally controlled funding that will be spent exclusively on needed local transportation projects, including: new lanes on Highways 46 and 99, Rosedale Highway and Westside Parkway, among others; $200 million in backlogged road maintenance needs countywide; reducing emissions to improve quality of life; and providing additional transit services to the disabled and to the county’s growing senior population.

For more information, visit www.saferoadskern.org or www.KernMeasureI.com.

Orange County Measure M
Renewing Measure M will provide $11 billion for freeway and street projects needed to reduce congestion; perform local street maintenance; improve safety; synchronize 2,000 signals on major roads and expand successful public transit services like Metrolink over the next 30 years.

Orange County’s current transportation sales tax resulted in major improvements to the county’s street, highway, and commuter rail network, including major widening of the 57, 91, 55 and 5 freeways, widening the El Toro Y (the 5-405 interchange) to 26 lanes, startup of the Metrolink service and increased transit services for seniors and the disabled. The renewal will allow Orange County to continue with freeway expansion projects and other needed projects to reduce congestion and improve safety.

For more information, visit www.OCTA.net or www.RenewMeasureM.org.

Santa Barbara County Measure D
Measure D has already generated almost $350 million for local transportation projects.  Renewing and increasing it from cent to cent will provide the county with an additional $1.575 billion over 30 years that will be dedicated to desperately needed local road and transit projects to improve safety and decrease traffic congestion on Routes 101, 246, 166, 1, 154, 135 and 192, among others. Local bus, commuter rail and transit services for the elderly and disabled will be improved.

For more information, visit www.sbcag.org, www.measure-d.com, or www.coast-santabarbara.org

Tulare County Measure R
Measure R will provide Tulare County with an additional $652 million over 30 years in locally controlled funding that will be exclusively spent on desperately needed local road and transit projects that will be delayed for years or never completed if the county is not able to provide local funding for them. Projects include: new lanes on Highway 99, Caldwell Avenue and State Route 65; repairing potholes and performing needed street maintenance throughout the county; enhancing transit services for the elderly and disabled; and adding needed bike lanes.

For more information, visit www.voteroadrepair.com or www.tularecog.org.

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