SANDAG staff members conceded Friday that to finish all the transportation projects promised in a 2004 sales tax extension, the agency will need to find as much as $17.5 billion from federal and state sources. No elected officials at the meeting said a word about the potential multibillion-dollar shortfall and any resulting impact on the communities they represent.

Protea Properties is optimistic it’s reached a deal with SANDAG to build roughly 40 condos, retail space and commuter parking for a new trolley station on three and a half acres at Clairemont Drive, on the new $2.1 billion Mid-Coast Trolley line set to open in 2021. The agency had held the threat of eminent domain over the developer’s head for months.

The chair of the Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee, which monitors the TransNet tax, said he was unaware of the growing disparity between the tax’s projected revenue and the actual revenue it’s brought in, but the shortfall doesn’t fall within the group’s purview. Outside experts said that view leaves the program without meaningful oversight and transparency.

In all the debate over Measure A, SANDAG’s proposed sales tax hike to fund transportation, transit and preservation projects, everyone has accepted as a fact the agency’s claim that the measure would bring in $18 billion. The only problem: There’s a good chance it won’t. One reason we know this is because SANDAG’s last sales […]