More than two years later, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority may finally get to start spending the money collected under the 2016 Measure B sales tax.
Opponents of the 2016 measure are making one last-ditch effort to challenge the tax measure by appealing it to the California Supreme Court. But lawyers for the tax opponents acknowledge this is a long shot -- the state's highest court accepts only one in about 100 civil cases submitted for review.
So far, the Measure B sales tax has collected more than $275 million through a half-cent surcharge on most purchases, intended for road repairs, transit and transportation improvement projects. That money has been embargoed from being spent since last year, when Mountain View attorney Gary Wesley filed a legal challenge on behalf of Saratoga resident Cheriel Jensen.
In his legal complaint, Wesley argued that Measure B violates state law by including an allocation plan while also giving its board of directors the discretion to redirect that funding. For that reason, he alleges the sales tax should be invalidated.
In October, the lawsuit was rejected by a state appellate court. Earlier this week, Wesley announced he would try to take the case to the state Supreme Court.
If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, the appellate court decision will become final, and VTA can begin spending its collected revenues. A decision on whether to hear the case is expected within 30 days.