Faulconer Will Vote No On SANDAG Tax Increase Measure
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April 28, 2016 1:15 p.m.
Faulconer Will Vote No On SANDAG Tax Increase Measure
Claire Trageser, multimedia enterprise reporter, KPBS
Related Story: Faulconer Will Vote No On SANDAG Tax Increase Measure
I'm Maureen Cavanaugh and Thursday, April 28, Deb Wells jointly the San Diego stories were following in the KPBS newsroom.
The North County transit District announced today that bus drivers have ratified a contract with their employer first transit Incorporated. District officials said last week that they been warned that a strike was imminent but the drivers and Cincinnati-based company which contract for transit agencies to spy bus operators reach an agreement soon after. Last night, forum brought together the four Democrats vying to replace Marti Emerald on that San Diego Council. At one point they were asked what idea they borrow from another city and here's what they said.
We need to get money out of politics. Locally and nationwide. I think that is the root. You start from there and you systemically change our system. There many other cities, major cities that have an amazing first-class transit system and I would see that in San Diego.
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California's legislature is approving $16 million to help County election officials feel the surge of interest in the June primary and a crush of petition signatures for ballot measures. The assembly of said approved the funding in unanimous but today sending it to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. The money will help counties in influx of new registered voters ahead of the June 7 primary. Counties also faced deadline to verify thousands of signatures from group seeking to replace nearly 2 dozen initiatives on the November ballot.
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Our top story on midday edition, it's not unusual for Republican politician to vote against the tax increase. It is unusual for that vote to be applauded by environmentalist. But that's apparently what's about to happen in tomorrow's vote at Sandag. The members at San Diego Goebel vote on placing a half cent sales tax on the November ballot to fund the goals for the transportation. Mayor Faulkner says he will vote against the ballot initiative. And a least one environmentalist is very pleased. Joining me is KPBS reporter Claire Trageser.
Their welcome. What would Sandag's proposed syntax pay for.
It would raise $18 billion which would be spent the next 40 years and it's divided between public transit, high weights, and about 30% would be grants to local cities that they could do what they want.
Local environmental leader Nicole Capretz says that it's because impart pressure from environmentalists like her who said they asked to take a stand against it and she said she wanted support go out and say the climate action plan unless he voted no on Sandag but the Mayor's office said this morning the decision on his own and he doesn't think the proposal warrants a tax increase.
Wire some environmentalist against Sandag's environmentalist plan. They say it spends too much on roads and highways and not enough on public transit. And especially environmentalists in the city they say the own climate action goals will not be achievable under the current Sandag regional plan that the two are really linked and so they need the money from Sandag the Bever fund transit.
On the other side of this the of San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria, he's in voting in favor of this Sandag measure. He makes the case San Diego would be able to underfill any of its climate action plan. So how much money you with the tax initiative bring to San Diego's project.
Wishes they'd still being worked out. There voting tomorrow and the of draft versions of the plan. Gloria says it would be a 7 1/2 billion dollars, $2 billion for local infrastructure and a half billion for bike projects in San Diego. I think that under the current version the third in a vote tomorrow.
We don't know the final version is that?
42% in the version we know about of this tax goes towards public transportation according to something from Todd Gloria's office. And still that's not enough for environmentalist. To they also have a problem for the sequence of how this money is going to be spent?
Right. They say that it frontload the highways and back loads the public transit so public transit doesn't come soon enough and that's when the big issues with it.
How much of an impact could Mayor Faulkner's on whether this proposal makes ballot.
The Sandag board but semantically Mayor Faulkner doesn't often go to meetings. He sent someone as an alternate to vote for him. So we at least know it's not really unanimous about. Even if it passes it can be interesting to see. Running then get on the ballot two thirds of voters need to vote and if we have Republicans on one side environmentalists on one side they both like it may be difficult to get thirds majority needs to pass even if it makes it on the ballot.
Now the Mayor's office to this morning that the reason the Mayor is voting no on this is because basically it's too much of a tax increase, it's too big.
In very careful wording they said it doesn't warrant an 18 billion tax increase. I said is that because environmental reasons made and have her response.
On that side, Mayor Faulkner is gaining national reputation on environmental issues cause any?
Yes. Definitely. He is a Republican mayor was proposed this major climate action plan, commit the city to being the largest city to go hundred percent renewable energy, he's got national, international press, so I think at least in part if environmental to come out and say now he's not doing enough, that's not part of the narrative that he wants going forward.
Now if the measure doesn't get out the ballot, how well Sandag's regional transportation plan get funded?
That's a good question. When the board approved it in October they were all saying, we really need to make sure that it gets on the ballot but it passes. I'm not sure exactly what they will do if it doesn't pass and how they will continue to fund the projects they laid out.
Now the corollary to this is the implementation or the announcement of how the city climate action plan is going to be implemented. Went to be expect that?
They said the implementation plan was can a come out in April. Us was the come out this week, Perley was delayed because of the EU negotiations with the environmental leaders saying were not going to stand with you at the press conference where you announce it. Another thing to come out Monday which is me second thoughts are not quite April the close.
I've been speaking with KPBS Claire Trageser. Thank you very much.