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Measure J is the Contra Costa Transportation  Authority's  (CCTA's) new half-percent sales-tax increase on the March 3 ballot.

It's an expensive new scheme which if passed would richly benefit the contractors funding the campaign, along with some other special interests,  while leaving Contra Costa drivers still stuck in traffic.

CCTA essentially wants to help the state escape its own responsibilities  to facilitate its own reckless, spendthrift behavior by hitting up Contra Costa taxpayers once again. (Measure J itself is expected to collect and spend $3.6 Billion, as it collects the extra new sales tax until 2055.)

STRINGS ATTACHED: Measure J's "return-to-source" local street-maintenance funds require surrendering your community's autonomy to County bureaucrats and complex decrees dictating even housing policy for your town or neighborhood.

78.5% of Contra Costa commuters drive to work; only 11.2% use transit.  But 55% of Measure J's billions would be spent on transit and bureaucrats' notions of "sustainable communities," vs. just 45% of Measure J money that would be spent on roads.  Data and sourcing  are shown below.

TELL CCTA TO HIT THE ROAD.  We pay enough in taxes of all kinds already to expect better roads and faster travel. Travel-related taxes include auto registration fees, tolls, gasoline taxes, and even sales taxes on the gasoline taxes (yes, taxes on taxes). CCTA and other Contra Costa County bureaucrats must insist on better utilization of our large existing state and local taxes, instead of continually raising rates.

CCTA once again conducted push polling and one-sided "public education" to promote this new half-percent sales-tax increase.  In contrast, we opponents are citizen volunteers, doing our best to counter CCTA's tax-funded promotions and the hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars also being spent by their contractors to promote Measure J. See our "TAX PROMOTERS" page.  It's presently in rudimentary form, but  you'll be able to see details early indications of the massive campaign spending to promote Measure J.

The Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund (TRANSDEF) also opposes Measure J, and participated in submitting the ballot arguments which appear now in the County election pamphlet.

Vote NO on Measure J.  Tell CCTA and their tax promoters to  HIT  THE  ROAD!

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority's Measure J  is a new, 35-year tax.  It DOUBLES  CCTA's existing sales tax to a whole percentage point, increasing sales-tax rates to 8.75% to 10.25% (depending on location; see current rates), making the County's sales-tax rates among the highest in California. And California's sales taxes are the highest in the United States. 
 

FALSE PROMISES: 2004's Measure J sales tax (yes, same letter designation, adding to the confusion), itself in effect until 2034, promised it would  create "comprehensive transportation solutions to traffic and congestion," and a "plan to relieve conges-tion in every major commute corridor in Contra Costa County." It didn't happen. And it won't happen now, with Measure J.

BART'S NEW FARE GATE:  expected to cost at least $150 million in replacing existing gates

In the news...

Measure J hands another $120 million to BART,   allegedly to make BART "cleaner" and "safer." But BART has refused to prosecute panhandling and fails to prosecute fare evasion; that's no way to run a railroad, and no way to make trains cleaner or safer.   And BART's expensive new fare gates appear still to allow gate jumping.  Meanwhile, BART continues wasting billions on bloated union contracts and new pension obligations. Why should taxpayers again bail them out of the mess they created and refuse to fix?

RECENT HISTORY OF STATE / LOCAL TRANSPORTATION TAX INCREASES

1998:   Senate Bill 60 (Seismic retrofits): raised bridge tolls from $1 to $2.

2004:   Regional Measure 2 ("AA Regional Traffic Relief Plan":  another $1 bridge-toll increase.

2004:   BART Measure AA (Seismic Stabilization): G.O. bond,  $7.04 per $100,000 of assessed value,
                 this new tax to be collected until 2044.

2008:   Proposition 1A provides $10 Billion in seed "money" for "$33 Billion bullet-train" project.

2009:   Contra Costa Transportation Authority's Measure J takes effect after voters okayed it. 
                 CCTA's Half-percent transportation sales tax is renewed, with tax payments continuing
                 until 2034.

2010:   Bay Area Toll Authority raised tolls by up to $2 for more seismic improvements.

2016:   BART Measure RR (BART improvements), $3.5 Billion G.O bond avg. $8.98 per
                $100,000 A.V.    Also 2016:  Co, with Contra Costa Transportation Authority tries to double
                 its existing half-percent sales-tax load, with new payments to made until 2046. 
                 Measure rightfully fails.

2017:   "Gas tax" raises combined state excise tax from 27.8 cents/gal to 47.3 cents/gal by July 1, 2019.

2018:   Regional Measure 3 (Highway and transit), additional $1 bridge-toll increases 2019, 2022, and
                 2025.   55% opposed in Contra Costa County , but the measure passed overall regionally with
                 55% assent).

2018:   "Transportation Improvement Fee" increases auto registration fees by $25 to $175 (to increase
                 with inflation beginning January 1, 2020).

2020:   New $100 "Road Improvement Fee" takes effect July 1, to increase with inflation 01/01/21.
                2020? "MegaMeasure" -- a scheme to push $100 Billion in new Bay Area transportation taxes,
                is now being prepared for a massive  pro-tax campaign leading up to the November election.

2020:  The Contra Costa Transportation Authority seeks to add another half-percent sales-tax addition,
                with misleading ballot language and a conveniently and suddenly altered "Impartial Analysis" by
                County Counsel.

2020?   Another County sales tax increase (in addition to Measure J) is apparently  under discussion.

See the East Bay Times editorial of January 16. It agrees that Contra Costa County voters should reject Measure J in the March 3 election, for numerous reasonsAmong those:  (1)  Measure J is essentially a blank check;  it presents no commitment to specific projects; and (2) it hands millions more to BART -- the irresponsible agency already receiving billions  of dollars in continuing taxpayer subsidies as it neglects responsibility for cleanliness and passenger safety.

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Contra Costa County's existing s ales-tax  rates are shown below.  CCTA's premature Measure J would increase these already-high rates by another 0.5%. 

Having trouble seeing these small figures?   Go here to see larger text.