News

Gov. Brown signs off on Caltrain's sales-tax measure

Agency would need approval from San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties

Caltrain's plan to ask voters for a sales-tax increase received a boost Tuesday, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow the rail service to move ahead with the measure.

Senate Bill 797, which was authored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, authorizes a measure for a sales tax of no more than one-eighth of a cent. The measure would have to be approved by Caltrain's partner agencies in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and then by a two-thirds majority of the voters in the three counties.

Caltrain, which is in the midst of a modernization project that includes electrification of its fleet, has long been the only transit agency with no dedicated funding source in California. To date, it has relied on annual contributions from each of the three counties.

In a statement, Caltrain Executive Dirctor Jim Hartnett said Hill's bill is "critical to supporting our efforts to upgrade Caltrain service so we can meet the evolving mobility demands of our growing region."

"The Caltrain Electrification Project that is currently under construction will provide us with the potential to dramatically increase rail service to Caltrain communities, and SB 797 provides the opportunity to invest in that potential to truly meet the long term needs of the region," Hartnett said.

Brown's signature brings the bill "one step closer to allowing the public to decide how they want to address traffic problems and improvements along the Caltrain corridor," Hill said in a statement.

"Our region is an economic powerhouse for our state and the Caltrain corridor is its major transportation artery," Hill said. "If our residents cannot get back and forth to work, school and their families because our main transportation corridor cannot accommodate them, we jeopardize the health of our robust economy and our quality of life."

Comments

15 people like this
Posted by Yonatan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 11, 2017 at 11:20 am

Awesome!
Caltrain desperately needs a dedicated funding method rather than the very strange donation method that it is currently using.

Also, the part of the reason why the rates went up this year is that one of the counties decided to donate less money to Caltrain. (I believe it was San Mateo County.)


13 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

I'll gladly pay $0.00125 per dollar so Caltrain has dedicated funding from year to year. We're paying for it anyway, one way or another, and we need more and better mass transit, not less.


12 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

As sales taxes hurt the lowest income people the most, could we consider seriously a different way of taxing? The need for transportation has grown as more workers flood into our area and only so many can live near a work. Those that make less shouldn't shoulder a larger percentage of their income to cover the need for better and more modern public transportation. Why can't we tax larger employers in the region (say those over 100 or over 250 employees) on a per employee basis to fund this needed transportation for all people? They may provide busses for their workers but that doesn't help the other people who clean their houses, mow their lawns, teach their kids, treat them when they have an accident, do their laundry, etc.

Please, let use all call our state legistator(s) and Jerry Brown to make these industries pay to help alleviate the problems they are causing to daily live here. Just writing here has no effect at all.


44 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Gary is a registered user.

How much is Jim Hartnett paid to be "Executive Director" of Caltrain? How many employees are there? More money is needed for what exactly? A janitor for BART got paid well over $200,000/year with overtime (reported last year)


3 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 12:27 am

@resident

Or we could do what every other modern society does and fund infrastructure development through property taxes.


117 people like this
Posted by When will it end?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:47 am

It seems like every year there's another tax, bond or fee on the ballot. Don't we already pay enough?


116 people like this
Posted by @will it end, NO
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm

As most people are now painfully aware, California’s progressive political majority has just hit middle-class taxpayers with billions of dollars in new taxes. As a direct result of these actions, the state will soon have the distinction of having the highest taxes in the nation in the following categories: Highest income tax rate; highest state sales tax rate; highest vehicle tax; and the highest gas tax (and that doesn’t even include the added costs of cap-and-trade regulation). For the wealthy, California can be a lovely place to live. For normal folks, life in the Golden State can be a struggle. According to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, California lost more than 1 million people in net domestic out migration between 2004 and 2013.


13 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Look at the poster above me just spewing lies about CA taxes. Hint: if someone makes claims about something being "the highest" without providing a link to any source supporting that claim, they're just BSing. Not that anyone should expect anything better from anti-tax crusaders..

Just to take one, let's look at the gas tax: Web Link

Politifact says: false. Since this person posted this without verifying their information, what do you think is the likelihood of the rest being accurate?


97 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I am opposed to another tax.
What has happened to the $20.00 mandatory car registration fee allotted to the county? This was the issue that unseated Gov Davis. It was later adopted.
Is this new tax to pay for the cost over runs by incompetent accountants and lobbyists?
Let the people who use the train pay for it.
I wish more people would migrate out of Santa Clara County.


20 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Robyn, you first.


118 people like this
Posted by Citizen84
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Citizen84 is a registered user.

Gary,

FYI and for general interest, Jim Hartnett, the Executive Director of Caltrain seems to be paid:

(a) Annual Base Salary of $281,051

(b) Performance Pay of $50,000 awarded with Board’s determination that Mr. Hartnett successfully achieved all of his first year goals.

Read the link - there is a LOT more including:

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Gary and Citizen84, why are you so jealous of someone else's success? Really sad if you ask me, but maybe if you worked harder you'd be able to earn as much as those people have.


141 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Lol, I have lived here for three decades and contributed to this Valley. Your comments are insensitive and self centered. How dare you insult the writers you think should have earned more money. Life is not all about money.
We cannot sustain people who are already here. Our quality of life has deteriorated in all aspects. Taxes take away much of our accrued house value. The list of degradation goes on. It is time to stop the influx.


15 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 13, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Robyn, just because your family plopped down here 30 years ago doesn't mean you've contributed anything. The only reason we can't sustain people here is because people like you don't pay your fair share of taxes.

"Life is not all about money"
"Taxes take away much of our accrued house value"

Intriguing.


Like this comment
Posted by k4bweb
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 15, 2017 at 12:03 am

k4bweb is a registered user.

UPSC exams can checked form this links
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


175 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2017 at 7:47 am

Lol, We have contributed by working and keeping the Valley afloat through all the ups and downs over those decades. We have also chosen to perform uncompensated volunteer work through several charitable organizations. Having additional taxes forced upon us is no answer. You can look at your property tax bill to see all the add-ons for schools, hospitals, etc. (Look at the waste at El Camino to feel our angst.) Also, the local government fees go up every year as well as trash, water, etc. The cumulative effect is to raise our cost of living without a commensurate benefit. It takes more than 50% of the registered voters to stop government fee increases. Unfortunately, fewer than that number vote usually.
When was the last time the homeowners exemption was raised? It should be to track values.
The new glass cages and tenements along the tracks detract from the former beauty of the area and ruin the quality of life.
You prefer high density and the attendant traffic, noise and lack of privacy. I do not.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2017 at 10:29 am

@Robyn

Then move. You're already having your property tax subsidized so you can live here. You shouldn't act like a speed bump for the rest of the valley in a selfish attempt to keep anything from changing. Go move to a small town in the middle of nowhere if you're craving low density and privacy.


25 people like this
Posted by Fair share of taxes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2017 at 11:49 am

California is one of the highest taxed state and here we have people that want to tax us some more.

I suggest if you want higher taxes, you move to New York or somewhere where they have mass transportation already set up for you.

Prop 13 came about because of politicians abusing property taxes. Raising for their special interests. If you don't understand prop 13 and it's value to people then you must be new to CA. Or maybe you want the liberals here to be like Detroit, where they did the same with the property taxes and without a prop 13 people left there houses and moved. Unfortunately most moved here and want to screw up our state. Not without a fight you don't!!

Prop 13 is the fairest there can be, as soon as you buy a house it starts working for you. How, by being able to know exactly what you property tax will be. It's 1% of your purchase price, then 2% increase every year. So it increases by a fair amount.

Thanks God for the Harvard Jarvis and all the people that voted for prop 13. Otherwise you wouldn't know what you property tax would be from year to year. It could go from 5k to 10k in a year.

We need a reduction of taxes, not more. The govt. is bloated with money and we have those that want more. Unbelievable.

Get rid of the Unions then there would be a lot more money. All smart company's have, except for the Govt, since they are run by the Unions.


9 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Prop 13 came about because you all wanted to give yourself a tax cut, and California schools and infrastructure have suffered from it since. Now you get to sit in a subsidized house while every renter and new home owner suffers from sky high cost of living. Go ahead and fight, I'll be right there fighting back. This is not a fight that you will win, the tides are turning and the generations after you are tired of subsidizing you. All you can do is cling on at the expense of everyone else and cement your legacy in the eyes of future generations as the ones that clawed at everyone to enrich yourself rather than work with everyone to enrich everyone.


9 people like this
Posted by the rest of the story
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Surprise! The Voice did not give the background to this story. The fact is that Uber, Lyft and other free market solutions are taking over government run transit agencies riders. See this story from the San Jose Mercury (I never thought I would be praising that left-wing rag but compared to the Voice they are moderate):
Web Link

"Most Bay Area transit agencies are feeling the pinch in ridership as more and more people turn to personal cars, ride-booking apps and corporate shuttles as cleaner, safer and more reliable alternatives. So many people have stopped riding buses and trains despite worsening traffic that even ardent transit backers fear many solo drivers may not get out of their cars anytime soon."

Instead of improving their service to get more riders and improving their efficiency to lower costs, the government is just trying to increase taxes.

Count me as a NO vote on this boondoggle.


Like this comment
Posted by rohit sharme
a resident of Slater
on Nov 19, 2017 at 5:17 am

rohit sharme is a registered user.

[Post removed due to promoting a website]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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