Alameda County Seeks Half-Cent Tax Hike For Transportation
HOST: Alameda County officials are asking voters to raise an existing transportation sales tax from a half-cent to a full cent -- and extend it indefinitely. KQED’s Caitlin Esch reports Measure B-1 would raise an estimated $7.7 billion over the next 30 years.
CAITLIN ESCH: Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan wants to restore AC Transit bus services to 2009 levels, before weekend routes were slashed and regular routes combined.
WILMA CHAN: There’s very few buses on the weekend. And people want to get out, they want to do their shopping, they want to go to parks. And it’s almost impossible to do that.
ESCH: Money would also go to fixing roads and creating bike trails.
But business consultant Chris Pareja says Alameda County's sales tax is already too high. He says raising taxes could hurt small businesses and slow hiring.
CHRIS PAREJA: And I just don’t want to see Alameda County losing more jobs at a time at a time when we desperately need to increase the number of jobs within the county.
ESCH: The measure requires two-thirds approval to pass.