Sacramento bills to lower voter threshold for transit funding

Two bills have been filed, SCA-4 (Liu) and SCA-8 (Corbett) to lower the voter threshold for transit taxes from two thirds to 55%. SCA-8 is for “transportation projects” and SCA-4 is for “local government transportation projects. We are looking into whether there’s a substantive difference.

These measures would prevent situations such as the recent loss of Alameda County’s Measure B1 and Los Angeles Measure J, both with over 65% of the vote.

Polling in recent years on potential ballot measures to fund Caltrain have found the two thirds threshold very difficult to reach, but a 55% threshold would much easier to clear.

The immediate local proposal on the table, though is to use newly approved San Mateo County sales tax funding to backfill SamTrans budget, which would also address Caltrain funding, at least in the short term.