County takes another step toward transportation sales tax | News – California News

County takes another step toward transportation sales tax | News – California News

Acknowledging that traffic woes impact nearly everyone in San Mateo County, the Board of Supervisors is moving ahead with a process that could result in a November 2018 ballot measure asking voters to approve another half-cent sales tax for transportation projects.

The supervisors voted Aug. 8 to contribute $350,000 to an effort to get the public involved in deciding what transportation projects such a tax could finance.

A decision to put the tax on the ballot wouldn’t have to be finalized until August 2018, and would need the approval of both the Board of Supervisors and the board of the San Mateo County Transit District. The $350,000 in outreach funding is expected to be matched by SamTrans.

“Traffic is the worst it has ever been,” Transit District head Jim Hartnett told the supervisors. ” We all experience it. The public is looking to us for solutions.”

Erica Walters of TDWB Strategies, one of the consultants who will work on the outreach effort, said the work will start almost immediately with a website and mailings, with both asking the public for ideas on easing the county’s transportation woes.

“I don’t think it’s too early to start engaging people in the process,” she said. “Nobody needs to be told traffic is a problem.”

Speakers at the meeting seemed to agree. Roseanne Foust of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association said she has “never seen more of an interest” among private sector employers in doing something about transportation problems.

Emily Loper of the Bay Area Council, which represents more than 300 employers, said that transportation is its members’ No. 1 concern. Many of its members favor “treating transportation…

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