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Recount Asked for Defeated County Transportation Sales Tax

The Alameda County Transportation Commission said Thursday it has requested a recount on the narrow defeat of Measure B1, the one-cent sales tax boost that failed by a tiny margin to receive the necessary two-thirds approval.

 

The Alameda County Transportation Commission announced today, Thursday, that it has asked for a recount of the election results showing a narrow defeat of the proposed 1-cent sales tax increase for Alameda County transportation, Measure B1.

If only 400 votes – about 0.08 percent of ballots cast – had gone the other way, the county-wide measure on the Nov. 6 ballot would have passed.

But final election results certified Wednesday by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters show that the measure fell short of the required two-thirds approval. Measure B1 received 350,899 yes votes, or 66.53 percent of total votes cast. No votes totaled 176,504.

The measure was intended to address declining state and federal funding for local transportation and would have raised $7.8 billion between 2013 and 2043, according to an analysis by the Oakland League of Women Voters.

The executive director of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Arthur Dao, said in a prepared statement:

“We have an obligation to the 66.53 percent of Alameda County voters who supported Measure B1 to leave no stone unturned. After receiving such strong support, we won’t turn away a critical $7.8 billion investment prematurely.”

Dao told Patch that the commission is requesting a "limited recount" for now, starting with precincts in Berkeley that showed high support but significant under-voting. Depending on the results of the limited recount, the agency may request a more extensive recount, he said. 

The measure would have extended the current half-cent sales tax approved as Measure B by Alameda County voters in 1986 and 2000 and due to expire in 2022. It would also have added an additional half-cent to the sales tax.

The League of Women Voters analysis, prepared before the election, outlined what the money would have been spent on: "More than three-fourths of the revenues would pay for improvements in three categories: transit, including paratransit; local streets and roads; and bicycle and pedestrian projects. Smaller amounts would go to freeways, transit-oriented development, freight transportation, and a student transit pass program."

A news release from the county transportation commission Thursday said:

"By placing Measure B1 on the ballot, Alameda CTC was responding to the need to develop new funding solutions for transportation — to update critical transportation infrastructure, fund mass transit and paratransit operations, increase transit choices and reduce congestion and pollution. Alameda CTC has already leveraged $756 million of current Measure B funds into $3.8 billion in capital improvements in Alameda County — more than $2.5 billion worth are under construction now — and has pumped $495 million back into local businesses in Alameda County in the past decade, creating nearly 5,100 jobs per year."

Fred Eiger November 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM
What a load of crap. Of course these bums are going to ask for a "Limited" recount in the ghetto where they think they can get more support. Anything to screw over the taxpayers. Not only are they trying to screw over the taxpayers but they're using taxpayer money for the recount. Why doesn't Dao pony up his own money for the recount?
David November 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM
"More than three-fourths of the revenues would pay for improvements in three categories: transit, including paratransit; local streets and roads; and bicycle and pedestrian projects. Smaller amounts would go to freeways, transit-oriented development, freight transportation, and a student transit pass program." No. HALF would have gone to ACTransit, with only 30% going to local roads.
Leah Hall November 30, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Fantastic! If that's true and it were allowed, I'd vote for the measure twice.
virgo November 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM
That's fine with me. I take ACTransit to and from work 5 days a week and they desperately need new buses.
David November 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Virgo, ACTransit doubled the parcel tax last year to "preserve service" and stave off fare hikes. Guess what? They got their tax, service was still cut, and fares were still hiked. If you think the tax has anything to do with ACTransit's actual service, I have a bridge to sell you. It has everything to do with maintaining ACTransit's bloated salary, benefits and pensions.
Rob Rich December 01, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Hope it works. 66.66...7 is a tough hurdle. Good to know B1 had fantastic support either way.
Fred Eiger December 02, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Support among the uninformed.

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