Gov. Brown signs off on Caltrain's sales-tax measure

Agency would need approval from San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties

Caltrain's plan to ask voters for a sales-tax increase received a boost Tuesday, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow the rail service to move ahead with its proposal.

Senate Bill 797, which was authored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, authorizes a measure for a sales tax of no more than one-eighth of a cent. The measure would have to be approved by Caltrain's partner agencies in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and then by at least two-thirds of the voters in the three counties.

Caltrain, which is in the midst of a modernization project that includes electrification of its fleet, has long been the only transit agency with no dedicated funding source in California. To date, it has relied on annual contributions from each of the three counties.

In a statement, Caltrain Executive Dirctor Jim Hartnett said Sen. Hill's bill is "critical to supporting our efforts to upgrade Caltrain service so we can meet the evolving mobility demands of our growing region."

"The Caltrain Electrification Project that is currently under construction will provide us with the potential to dramatically increase rail service to Caltrain communities, and SB 797 provides the opportunity to invest in that potential to truly meet the long-term needs of the region," Hartnett said.

Gov. Brown's signature brings the bill "one step closer to allowing the public to decide how they want to address traffic problems and improvements along the Caltrain corridor," Sen. Hill said in a statement.

"Our region is an economic powerhouse for our state and the Caltrain corridor is its major transportation artery," Sen. Hill said. "If our residents cannot get back and forth to work, school and their families because our main transportation corridor cannot accommodate them, we jeopardize the health of our robust economy and our quality of life."


13 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Anyone else getting tired of politicians looking to take more of our money for things that should be fully funded with the money they already have? Gas Tax for instance is supposed to go to roads and transportation but the clowns in Sacramento have decided it can go to the general fund instead and now they want to raise those taxes again to improve roads. Years ago they lies to the people of California to get funding for High Speed Rail which was supposed to help Caltrain (using the same tracks) now they want to tax us more for something that we are already paying for. Time to send a message and say NO.

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