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One last hurdle for Measure B

Original post made on Dec 28, 2018

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 28, 2018, 9:38 AM

Comments (3)

5 people like this
Posted by a sane taxpayer
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 28, 2018 at 9:37 pm

Sending thanks and good wishes to Wesley Powell, a tireless advocate for the interests of the taxpayer. Perhaps I should qualify that: the minority of taxpayers who don't want their money flat-out wasted. VTA has a poor track record, and I'm not feeling optimistic about the trend.

2 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2018 at 11:34 pm

I'm with you on the criticism of VTA and its spending history, which many residents have followed over the years -- and we remember,

But who is "Wesley Powell" and what does that person have to do with this story? (That name does not appear in it.)

10 people like this
Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Dec 29, 2018 at 1:32 am

To clarify: The Petition for Review was filed in the California Supreme Court on November 26, 2018 (Case No. S252711). Under the state Rule of Court, the Supreme Court has 60 days from filing to determine whether to grant or deny the petition (or give itself a little more time). There are 7 members of the California Supreme Court. At least four would need to vote to grant review of an issue presented previously to the lower "Court of Appeal" in a case. The issue in this case is whether the VTA will get away with writing its local special tax measure to contain none of the four "accountability" provisions required by a state law enacted in the year 2000 (codified as Government Code section 50075.1 - particularly the provision that requires that tax proceeds be used for the specific purposes stated in the measure (required by section 50075.1(b)). The Court of Appeal in San Jose (acting through a 3-judge panel in October) failed to seriously address the legal objection to the tax measure which had been raised squarely from the inception of the case in the first-level Superior Court on January 9, 2017. The promise in the measure to use the tax proceeds (estimated at $6.5 billion over 30 years) for a "program" of transportation projects across Santa Clara County is subject to a switch provision written into the measure which allows the VTA Board of Directors to vote to spend the money otherwise. That is the problem. The measure also authorizes the VTA to borrow money by selling bonds to be repaid from the estimated revenue stream. If the busy state Supreme Court does NOT grant review, the challenge ends and the VTA gets another slush fund it may or may not use for projects across the county. In the unlikely event the Supreme Court does grant review, it would decide the issue raised in about a year and, frankly, the measure would then likely be declared legally invalid - as it is.

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