Argument Against Measure AA (TAM Sales Tax Renewal)
Voters should reject Measure AA, a thirty-year renewal of the 0.5% county-wide sales tax whose revenues go to the Transportation Authority of Marin.
Thirty years is way too long. The Transportation Authority of Marin doesn’t have a coherent thirty year congestion relief plan.
It has a “Christmas list” of possible near-term projects intended to woo votes. Many of these would be completed in a handful of years. It’s impossible to know how exactly the money will be spent over the subsequent 20-25 years. Why trust TAM will make wise choices as technology, transportation modalities, funding sources and politics evolve?
TAM has ample time to develop a shorter, better, sales tax measure. The current ½ cent tax continues until 2025. What’s the hurry?
TAM should come back to voters with a 10 year sales tax measure and a detailed expenditure plan. It should specify each project’s funding allocation, impact on traffic congestion, and number of people benefiting.
TAM’s twelve not-directly-elected commissioners fund some pet projects ahead of ones citizens want most, like Yellow School Buses, crossing guards, electric vehicle infrastructure, and Adaptive Signal Control Technology (smart traffic lights). TAM now threatens to cut crossing guards or freeze school transit expansion unless we approve Measure AA.
Whatever your politics, Measure AA is bad policy. Learn more at CostMarin.org (sensible taxpayer-voter perspective) and Transdef.org (environmentalist perspective).
Voter-taxpayers deserve a comprehensive transportation vision, more transparency, and a regular opportunity to weigh in.
Rebuttal to argument in favor of AA
How’s TAM’s existing congestion relief “program” working out for you?
Has your commute time on 101 fallen or neighborhood traffic reduced?
Have your potholes been filled and roads repaired?
Has it gotten easier to travel around Marin by bus?
After 14 years of paying TAM’s current ½ cent “congestion relief” sales tax, voters have little to applaud.
Now TAM wants free rein until 2049! Avoiding future voter scrutiny is the only reason for a tax measure this long. They can’t plan that far out.
Don’t be misled by proponents’ promises. They’re nothing but a list of projects that poll well. There’s no coherent congestion relief vision, nor sufficient money to deliver all the bright shiny objects promised to voters.
Measure AA proposes Marin taxpayers provide key funding for a direct connector between Hwy 101 and I-580 – helping East Bay commuters. How much more will we pay when costs overrun the purported $135 million? Will the connector ever be built?
Don’t believe TAM’s fear-mongering: There’s no revenue loss or delay for transportation projects if Measure AA fails this November. The current tax doesn’t expire until 2025, over six years from now. What’s the hurry? Is it that TAM wants to get ahead of the next transportation sales tax on the ballot — a renewal measure for SMART?
Voters risk NOTHING by sending Measure AA back to the drawing boards.
TAM must develop a detailed 10 year vision and expenditure plan.
Marin needs traffic relief. Measure AA doesn’t provide it.
VOTE NO ON MEASURE AA