VTA to put $10 vehicle fee for road repairs on November ballot

Bills

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Board of
Directors unanimously voted in favor of placing a ballot measure
before the voters of Santa Clara County this November, authorizing
a $10 vehicle registration fee expected to generate an estimated
$14 million annually for road repairs and congestion relief
projects.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of placing a ballot measure before the voters of Santa Clara County this November, authorizing a $10 vehicle registration fee expected to generate an estimated $14 million annually for road repairs and congestion relief projects.

“Santa Clara County faces a $144 million projected shortfall for maintenance of roadways annually. That’s $3.6 billion over the next 25 years,” VTA Board Chair Sam Liccardo said. “The revenue generated from the vehicle registration fee helps cities and the County address the unmet needs for funding local street and road improvements.”

Senate Bill 83 authorizes VTA to implement a vehicle registration fee of up to $10 on motor vehicles registered within the county for transportation programs and projects that have a direct benefit to those paying the fee.

Favorable polling results indicate that a broad spectrum of voters see a need for additional funding to support road repairs and transportation improvements in the county, according to the VTA. Overall, 59 percent of likely voters polled indicate support for the fee and that percentage increases as voters learned more about what the fee revenues would fund, the VTA said. Nearly 70 percent of voters see road repair, gaining access to federal and state matching funds, and congestion relief as the highest priorities for VRF funds, the VTA said.

At their Thursday night meeting, board members also approved an expenditure plan for the fee revenues required by SB 83. Eighty percent of the revenue, about $11.2 annually, would return to the cities based on population and to the county based on miles of roadway, according to the VTA. Revenues would fund projects directly tied to driver benefits and used to repair potholes, repave and maintain local streets, and improve traffic flow and safety on roadways.

An estimated $2.1 million, or 15 percent of the fee revenues, would be used for countywide programs and projects such as transportation-related technologies including traffic control signals, safety and traveler information systems and help localities match funds for federal, state and regional transportation grants applied to roadway projects.

The November 2010 ballot measure must be approved by a simple majority vote.

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