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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District Rail Project Authorization
County of Marin
Two-Thirds Approval Required
Fail: 59774 / 57.51% Yes votes ...... 44168 / 42.49% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Jan 4 9:35am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (210/210)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall an ordinance be adopted authorizing the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) to construct, operate, and maintain a passenger rail project and bicycle/pedestrian pathway on publicly owned right-of-way, from Cloverdale in Sonoma County, to Larkspur in Marin County, with a connection to the Larkspur-San Francisco ferry; imposing a 1/4 cent sales tax for 20 years; establishing a Citizens Oversight Committee; and establishing an annual spending cap?
The District is authorized, with the approval of the voters, to propose a special tax to implement this service. The District has adopted an ordinance proposing a quarter-cent transactions and use tax ($0.0025 on every $1 spent), to be imposed on retail sales in Sonoma and Marin Counties, beginning April 1, 2007. Proceeds of the tax would provide funding for the design, construction, implementation, operation, financing, maintenance and management of the rail system and a bicycle/pedestrian pathway from Cloverdale in Sonoma County to Larkspur in Marin County. An Expenditure Plan for the tax revenues is incorporated into the proposed sales tax ordinance. The revenue from the tax can only be spent on project elements listed in the Expenditure Plan, including:
The tax would be collected in the same manner as sales tax is currently collected, would begin on April 1, 2007, and would continue in effect for twenty (20) years. The District is empowered under state law to issue bonds to fund all or part of the construction of the project, so that work can begin sooner. The bonds would be repaid over time from the tax revenue collected. The ordinance also establishes an appropriations (spending) limit for SMART.
The ordinance must be approved by two-thirds of the voters voting on the question in order for the special tax to go into effect.
s/PATRICK K. FAULKNER
News and Analysis|
|Arguments For Measure R||Arguments Against Measure R|
|For decades, traffic congestion on Highway 101 in Marin
and Sonoma counties has grown worse, wasting our valuable time, causing stress and aggravation and costing us
money. As the Bay Area continues to grow, traffic will only
That's why the time is now to move forward with the SMART Train, giving ourselves an affordable, convenient alternative to freeway traffic.
SMART provides an alternative to Highway 101 gridlock, removing 5,300 car trips from our roads during the worst commute hours, more than 1.4 million annually. SMART can be running in 3 years, faster than widening the freeway.
SMART is good for our environment, removing 124,000 pounds a day of emissions that pollute our air and water and contribute to global warming. SMART's quiet, energy-efficient and low-emission trains help reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
SMART dramatically slashes commute times, giving you time to relax, enjoy your coffee and read the newspaper. A trip between Santa Rosa and San Rafael often taking more than 11/2 hours on Highway 101 will take just 50 minutes on SMART. SMART also cuts the time between Novato and Larkspur from 45 minutes to less than 20 minutes.
SMART supports building a 70-mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway, giving us even more ways to get out of our cars and promoting healthy, close-knit communities.
SMART provides complete fiscal accountability, with an annual spending cap, annual audits and independent citizen oversight. Reducing CO 2 emissions, saving travel time for our employees and avoiding car trips are worth the investment.
SMART increases overall transit use, providing a convenient connection to San Francisco-bound ferries in Larkspur and connecting directly with local bus service. SMART will also operate free, local shuttles.
The time is now. Vote YES on the SMART Train, for fewer car trips and cleaner air.
s/ALBERT J. BORO
SMART will not reduce congestion. Their own studies tell us this. Too few cars are removed from roads to make any difference and delays at rail crossings will worsen traffic in San Rafael.
SMART is not affordable. The taxpayer subsidy per SMART passenger is more than five times that for Golden Gate bus and ferry riders.
SMART is not convenient. There is only one midday train, no weekend service, no parking lots in San Rafael or Larkspur. The Larkspur terminal is a long inconvenient walk to the ferry. Total travel time would be longer than by car for most trips.
SMART is not good for the environment. That's why major environmental organizations in Marin are actively campaigning against it. SMART will harm Marin wetlands. The trains will emit cancer-causing diesel fumes and loud train horns will disturb neighborhoods.
SMART is not fiscally responsible. There is no detailed financial plan. Fuel costs are understated. The shuttle system is underfunded. There is no evidence that SMART can afford even the infrequent service it claims.
SMART is not designed to increase transit use in Marin. There would be no rail service to southern Marin, Ross Valley, or West Marin. SMART will compete for the same funds as our local transit. SMART could degrade our existing Golden Gate transit system.
To reduce global warming, we need to invest wisely, not gamble on a risky, expensive and limited system.
Don't be fooled. Trust the Facts. Vote No on Measure R
s/SUSAN L. ADAMS
s/DENNIS J. RODONI
s/DENNIS A. BROWN
|Vote NO on Measure R!
SMART's own $4 Million Environmental Impact Report shows that the single-track train would not relieve congestion on Highway 101.
Ridership is expected to drop after carpool lanes are completed in Marin and Sonoma.
The $1.4 billion cost of SMART is totally out of proportion to its ridership. Golden Gate buses and ferries carry seven times as many weekday passengers for one-fifth the cost per passenger.
The taxpayer subsidy for each passenger on each one-way train trip would be more than $50. By comparison, the subsidy for bus and ferry riders is less than $9. SMART would take scarce transportation funds from transit programs that would provide better service at lower cost per passenger.
SMART would have negative environmental impacts.
Vote NO on Measure R!
s/HAROLD C. BROWN, JR.
Opponents of the SMART Train would have us believe that continuing to rely solely on Highway 101 will solve traffic congestion and air pollution. They're wrong. Doing the same old thing isn't the answer to worsening traffic and higher levels of auto emissions.
We need an alternative to Highway 101 that's convenient and fast, that will get people out of their cars and reduce the levels of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.
The SMART Train gives us that alternative. SMART puts us on a more sustainable course for the future that reduces our dependence on Highway 101, fossil fuels and cars.
SMART will remove up to 1.4 million car trips annually from Marin and Sonoma roads during the heaviest traffic times. That eliminates almost 16,000 tons of auto emissions each year, emissions that harm our environment and pollute the air we breathe.
In addition, SMART includes a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian pathway running parallel to the rail line, meaning even more cars off our roads and less pollution.
By connecting to local buses and the Larkspur ferry, SMART will increase overall public transit ridership without competing for the same transportation funding. And SMART's modern, lighter and energy-efficient trains are safe, clean and quiet.
We've waited too long for an alternative to Highway 101. We don't have to wait any longer.
Vote YES on Measure R!
s/ALBERT J. BORO
|Full Text of Measure R|
ORDINANCE NO. 2006-01An ordinance of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District imposing a retail transactions and use tax to be administered by the State Board of Equalization; adopting an expenditure plan; and establishing an annual appropriations limit for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District.
BACKGROUND FINDINGS:The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) was created to provide a passenger rail system along the Northwestern Pacific Railroad within Sonoma and Marin Counties. The entire 75-mile corridor is publicly owned and can be used to provide passenger rail service. SMART will provide passenger rail service and a bicycle/pedestrian pathway to 14 rail stations in Sonoma and Marin Counties.
SMART is committed to providing service with the most environmentally clean passenger rail vehicle possible. SMART requires this measure in order to provide matching revenues to existing state and federal transportation grants, to bond for the construction of the project, and to provide funding for the on-going operation and maintenance of the project.
Section 1. TITLE. This ordinance shall be known as the Sonoma-Marin Passenger Rail Act. The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District hereinafter shall be called "District." This ordinance shall be applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the Counties of Sonoma and Marin, which shall be referred to herein as "District."
Section 2. OPERATIVE DATE. "Operative Date" means the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 110 days after the effective date of this ordinance, as set forth below.
Section 3. PURPOSE. This ordinance is adopted to achieve the following, among other purposes, and directs that the provisions hereof be interpreted in order to accomplish those purposes:
A. To provide funding for the design, construction, implementation, operation, financing, maintenance and management of a passenger rail system and a bicycle/pedestrian pathway connecting the 14 rail stations from Cloverdale to Larkspur.
B. To impose a retail transactions and use tax in accor- dance with the provisions of Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code and Section 105115 of the Public Utilities Code which authorizes the District to adopt this tax ordinance which shall be operative if a two-thirds majority of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election called for that purpose.
C. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that incorporates provisions identical to those of the Sales and Use Tax Law of the State of California insofar as those provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements and limitations contained in Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
D. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that imposes a tax and provides a measure therefor that can be administered and collected by the State Board of Equalization in a manner that adapts itself as fully as practicable to, and requires the least possible deviation from, the existing statutory and administrative procedures followed by the State Board of Equalization in administering and collecting the California State Sales and Use Taxes.
E. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that can be administered in a manner that will be, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, minimize the cost of collecting the transactions and use taxes, and at the same time, minimize the burden of record keeping upon persons subject to taxation under the provisions of this ordinance.
Section 4. CONTRACT WITH STATE. Prior to the operative date, the District shall contract with the State Board of Equalization to perform all functions incident to the administration and operation of this transactions and use tax ordinance; provided, that if the Authority shall not have contracted with the State Board of Equalization prior to the operative date, it shall nevertheless so contract and in such a case the operative date shall be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the execution of such a contract.
Section 5. TRANSACTIONS TAX RATE. For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the District at the rate of 1/4 of 1 percent (0.25%) of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in said territory on and after the operative date of this ordinance.
Section 6. PLACE OF SALE. For the purposes of this ordinance, all retail sales are consummated at the place of business of the retailer unless the tangible personal property sold is delivered by the retailer or his agent to an out-ofstate destination or to a common carrier for delivery to an out-of-state destination. The gross receipts from such sales shall include delivery charges, when such charges are subject to the state sales and use tax, regardless of the place to which delivery is made. In the event a retailer has no permanent place of business in the State or has more than one place of business, the place or places at which the retail sales are consummated shall be determined under rules and regulations to be prescribed and adopted by the State Board of Equalization.
Section 7. USE TAX RATE. An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the District of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on and after the operative date of this ordinance for storage, use or other consumption in said territory at the rate of 1/4 of 1 percent (0.25%) of the sales price of the property. The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to state sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.
Section 8. ADOPTION OF PROVISIONS OF STATE LAW. Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance and except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all of the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code are hereby adopted and made a part of this ordinance as though fully set forth herein.
Section 9. LIMITATIONS ON ADOPTION OF STATE LAW AND COLLECTION OF USE TAXES. In adopting the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code:
A. Wherever the State of California is named or referred to as the taxing agency, the name of this District shall be substituted therefor. However, the substitution shall not be made when:
1. The word "State" is used as a part of the title of the State Controller, State Treasurer, State Board of Control, State Board of Equalization, State Treasury, or the Constitution of the State of California;
B. The word "District" shall be substituted for the word "State" in the phrase "retailer engaged in business in this State" in Section 6203 and in the definition of that phrase in Section 6203.
Section 10. PERMIT NOT REQUIRED. If a seller's permit has been issued to a retailer under Section 6067 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, an additional transactor's permit shall not be required by this ordinance.
Section 11. EXEMPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS.
A. There shall be excluded from the measure of the transactions tax and the use tax the amount of any sales tax or use tax imposed by the State of California or by any city, city and county, or county pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law or the amount of any state-administered transactions or use tax.
B. There are exempted from the computation of the amount of transactions tax the gross receipts from:
1. Sales of tangible personal property, other than fuel or petroleum products, to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the County in which the sale is made and directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property under the authority of the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government.
C. There are exempted from the use tax imposed by this ordinance, the storage, use or other consumption in this District of tangible personal property:
1. The gross receipts from the sale of which have been subject to a transactions tax under any state-administered transactions and use tax ordinance.
D. Any person subject to use tax under this ordinance may credit against that tax any transactions tax or reimbursement for transactions tax paid to a district imposing, or retailer liable for a transactions tax pursuant to Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the sale to the person of the property the storage, use or other consumption of which is subject to the use tax.
Section 12. AMENDMENTS. All amendments subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance to Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code relating to
sales and use taxes and which are not inconsistent with Part
Section 13. ENJOINING COLLECTION FORBIDDEN. No injunction or writ of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the State or the District, or against any officer of the State or the District, to prevent or enjoin the collection under this ordinance, or Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, of any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected.
Section 14. ESTABLISHMENT OF ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT. Taking into account the proceeds of taxes available to the District, including tax revenue that would become available upon approval of this ordinance, the appropriations limit of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District for fiscal year 2006-2007 is established as $60 million, unless that amount should be amended pursuant to applicable law.
Section 15. ADOPTION OF EXPENDITURE PLAN AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EXPENDITURE OF PROCEEDS OF THE TAX. The District Board of Directors hereby adopts the Expenditure Plan attached hereto and incorporated into this ordinance by reference. Proceeds of the tax imposed by this ordinance shall be placed in a special account, and shall be spent only to implement the project components set forth in the Expenditure Plan, including the design, construction, implementation, operation, financing, maintenance and management of the passenger rail system and bicycle/pedestrian pathway.
Section 16. ANNUAL REPORT. The Chief Financial Officer of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District shall annually cause to be prepared a report setting forth (a) the amount of funds collected and expended; and (b) the status of any project component authorized to be funded in the Expenditure Plan adopted by the District in Section 15 herein.
Section 17. COMPLIANCE WITH CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA). An Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the project described in the Expenditure Plan and was certified by the District Board of Directors on July 19, 2006, prior to the Board's adoption of this ordinance.
Section 18. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Section 19. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance relates to the levying and collecting of the District transactions and use taxes and shall take effect immediately upon the close of the polls on November 7, 2006, if the measure is approved by two-thirds of the electors voting on the measure at the election held that day.
Section 20. TERMINATION DATE. The authority to levy the tax imposed by this ordinance shall expire twenty (20) years from the operative date of this ordinance.
Section 21. REPEAL OF ORDINANCE NO. 2004-01. Ordinance No. 2004-01 is hereby repealed.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Directors of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District in the County of Marin, State of California, on July 19, 2006, by the following vote:
Original on File