In the upcoming November election San Mateo County will consider a half-cent transportation sales tax, also known as Measure W.
Like other counties in the Bay Area, San Mateo County is experiencing a yearly increase in employment and population. That’s mainly positive, right? Well, according to Measure W proponents, one of the downsides is more cars on the roads.
Earlier this year SamTrans Board of Directors - that’s the San Mateo County transit agency - put the measure on the ballot. They say it would generate around 80 million dollars a year to relief traffic congestion. Or 2.4 billion dollars for a period of 30 years. That’s a lot of money.
The Congestion Relief Plan that the sale tax would fund IS based on feedback from more than 16.000 residents through the community-driven campaign called “Get us Moving”. It’s led by San Mateo County Transit District and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
But what would the money go to more specifically? The Congestion Relief Plan includes supporting regional transit connections, improving aging infrastructure for bikers and pedestrians and maintaining streets and highways throughout the county.
Among some of the supporters of Measure W are state assemblyman Kevin Mullin, San Mateo Fire Chief and organizations such as Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Greenbelt Alliance. Proponents believes the sale tax will help ease traffic issues in the county.
The county’s Republican and Libertarian parties are against Measure W. They argue that the county needs a better plan before adding additional taxes - and that the main result of the measure is residents losing their money.
So, If you want to support the sale tax for transportation improvements in San Mateo County, vote YES. If you don’t want to pay a half-cent sales tax, vote NO.