Measure E transportation tax goes to voters Tuesday | SierraSun.com
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Measure E transportation tax goes to voters Tuesday

SHANNON DARLING, Sun News Service

If Tahoe traffic has ever been a bother, or if crowded buses have ever left some feeling claustrophobic, Measure E may be the answer to traffic woes.

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Placer County residents will have the chance to go to the polls and vote on a one-half percent sales tax.

The Measure was placed on the ballot through special legislation to divide Placer County’s North Lake Tahoe area east of Donner Summit into a special election district.

The measure needs a two-third majority vote to pass.

The proposal calls for a one-half cent increase in sales tax in the Placer County region of North Lake Tahoe. The sales tax would provide $1.1 million annually for transportation during a 10 year period.

Currently the sales tax in Placer County is 7.25 percent, if passed, Measure E will raise the tax to 7.75 percent.

Money would be allocated to a locally elected board. A Citizen’s Oversight Committee would oversee the use of the funds.

Services proposed include:

– Half-hourly TART service between 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.: This service will increase the current service from every hour to every 30 minutes.

– Evening Transit Service: This service will provide half-hourly service until 11:30 p.m.

– North Tahoe – Reno airport shuttle: The new transportation authority will contract the services of a private airport transit service.

– Neighborhood Demand-Response Van Service: van service will respond to areas not serviced by regular bus routes.

– Ski area shuttle service: the new transportation authority will coordinate free shuttle services to ski resorts. The cost for this service in expected to be incremental because resorts are expected to cooperate in the service.

– Marketing services: advertising and marketing for the bus service in North Lake Tahoe will be financed in order to increase ridership.

– Hourly service on State Route 267

– Water Taxi Service

– Summer Trolley Service

– Maintenance of multipurpose trails: $100,000 in funding for local utility districts for maintenance.

Exact costs of each service and details on the services are available at the back of your Sample Ballot.

Fiscal Effect

Measure E will cost approximately $11 million over 10 years for the funding of half-hour bus service, evening transit service, airport shuttle service, demand-response van service, free ski area shuttle service, traffic control and much more.

It is estimated by a 1989 study done by Economic Research Associates, a nationwide firm that analyzes economics and paid for by Placer County, that locals will pay 18.5 percent toward the $1.1 million and tourists will pay 81.5 percent.

– Arguments for: improved bus service will attract more passengers, meaning more people, including tourists, will ride the bus leaving their cars at home. This means less traffic congestion and air pollution.

– Arguments against: Measure E will just tax the locals and tourists to pay for another locally elected board to manage local money. Also, it will be difficult to determine if a larger transportation system will get people out of their cars.

– Key Supporters: Dr. Charles Goldman, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley Resort Association, Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.

– Key Opponents: Dennis Schlumpf, Ed Friel, Elizabeth Hale, Park Bechdolt and Phil Tompson. Where to vote

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voter absentee ballots must be received in the Elections Department or at any polling place within the county not later than 8 p.m. on the day of the election. The vote is only open to Placer County residents.

– Alpine Meadows Fire Department, 270 Alpine Meadows Rd., Alpine Meadows

– Christ the King Lutheran Church, 3125 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

– North Lake Community Conference Center, 8318 West Lake Blvd., Kings Beach

– North Tahoe Fire Station #51, 300 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

– North Tahoe Fire Station #53, 5425 West Lake Blvd., Homewood

– North Tahoe Fire Station #54, 159 Observation Dr., Dollar Hill

– North Tahoe High School, 2945 Polaris Rd., Tahoe City

– Squaw Valley Fire Station, Meeting Room, 1810 Squaw Valley Rd., Olympic Valley


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