RM3 now before CA Supreme Court–Update 1

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) filed a Petition for Review with the California Supreme Court in August 2020. The Petition asserts that prior to Proposition 26, a clear body of law differentiated between taxes and fees. Whereas the Proposition was enacted to close several loopholes, the Court of Appeal decision opened up a brand-new huge loophole that would allow any fee for access to public property to be imposed without a two-thirds vote. In addition, the Petition points out that a different division of the same Court of Appeal had issued a ruling (Zolly v. City of Oakland) that…

Continue reading

Lawsuit charges CCTA with misrepresenting Measure J benefits

After its role in drafting the ballot arguments opposed to Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s (CCTA’s) Measure J on the March 2020 ballot, TRANSDEF became concerned about the misleading language of the question on the ballot. Working with our attorney, we sent multiple letters to the County Registrar of Voters, the Board of Supervisors, and Contra Costa County Counsel. The second set of letters was sent after we discovered that County Counsel had modified her Impartial Analysis of the measure, taking out the first paragraph reference to the proposed sales tax being an additional tax. We decided that this was an…

Continue reading

Measure J on March Ballot

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority placed Measure J on the March 2020 ballot. Measure J would have doubled the existing transportation sales tax. On election night, Measure J received a humiliating 48.94% of the vote, where 66.67% was required to pass. That vote slowly climbed until it reached 51.69%, a resounding rejection of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the leadership of Contra Costa’s elected officials, who nearly unanimously endorsed the measure. TRANSDEF organized the submission of ballot arguments opposed to the Measure. See Recent Contra Costa Transportation History for a broader understanding of the issues facing voters.  

Continue reading

Update: Lawsuit challenges claims made by Measure J

A lawsuit was filed on December 30, 2019, seeking to have the ballot letter designation, the ballot question and the Impartial Analysis modified before the Voter Guide for Contra Costa County is printed. The suit was granted priority status, because it is an election matter. A hearing was held Monday, January 6 on the merits of the suit. The court dismissed the suit, asserting it had been filed two days late, after the 10-day inspection period had passed. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, and sought an early hearing date, which was denied. Petitioner then filed a Notice of Appeal,…

Continue reading

Big contractor money floods into Measure J

How interesting that the campaign for Measure J is being run out of Sacramento. Not what one might expect of a little local measure… These guys have gone big time! Follow the Money! As might be expected from a group headquartered in the State Capital, the Friends of Contra Costa Transportation, Yes on J Committee has been busy soliciting funds from big contractor groups. As is typical of transportation taxes and school bond measures like Proposition 13 on the March ballot, contractors are contributing big time to campaigns that will generate added business for themselves. The California Alliance for Jobs…

Continue reading

Chronicle endorses J

The San Francisco Chronicle printed its endorsement of Measure J on January 29. While TRANSDEF was disappointed, we were pleased that the newspaper gave serious coverage to our rationale to oppose the tax: to avoid creating institutional momentum for decades of further sprawl development that will result in impassable highways. We believe that future development needs to be within walking distance of frequent transit, a model that doesn’t work in widely dispersed neighborhoods.

Continue reading