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In Alameda County, the seventh most populous county in California with more than 1.5 million people (as of April 2010), about 70 percent of voters approved ballot measure BB.

 

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According to the ballot language, the measure will accomplish the following:

  • Expand and modernize BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in Alameda County;
  • Improve transit connections to jobs and schools;
  • Fix roads, improve highways and increase bicycle and pedestrian safety;
  • Reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality; and
  • Keep senior, student, and disabled fares affordable.


In an impartial analysis prepared by County Counsel, the ordinance specifically implements three elements:

  1. An extension of the existing .5% transactions and use tax until March 31, 2045, for transportation purposes, which would have expired in March 2022;
  2. A .5% increase in the transaction and use tax, resulting in a total tax of 1%; and
  3. Authorization for the Alameda County Transportation Commission to issue limited tax bonds.


The analysis acknowledged opponents’ arguments. The opposition focused on the fact that the current transportation sales tax will double and the 30-year extension would “saddle Alameda County's struggling middle class, seniors, poor and small businesses with the highest county sales tax in California.” Opponents further asserted that this was ill-advised in light of declining public transportation use and worsening traffic congestion.

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