SANDAG officials spent 2016 trying to sell the public on a new tax hike they now admit would not have done what they said it would have.
In crafting and selling Measure A, Gary Gallegos and Ron Roberts created the framework for the region’s transportation discussion.
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.
Millennials want to live in urban, mixed-use environments that are built around biking, walking, transit, shared rides and plenty of social encounters. And our regional plans just don’t do enough for this rising generation.
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.
It’s now unclear how SANDAG will pay for the many transportation, transit and open space projects envisioned in Measure A, which the agency still wants to happen but doesn’t have funding for.
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.
Measure A will help make San Diego County a place where people and wildlife thrive.
For Measure A to bring in the $18 billion number that’s being touted in mailers and in the official ballot language, the typical San Diego resident would need to spend more money on items subject to the local sales tax than at any time since 1970.
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 […]