Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Twin California defeats loom for rail

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Los Angeles County voters Tuesday who supported Measure J, extending a half-cent tax for public transportation, accounted for 65% of those voting on the measure, thus falling short of a supermajority needed to pass the measure.

Measure J would have piggybacked onto an existing tax passed by county voters in 2008, extending the tax for 30 years from 2039 to 2069, and giving Los Angeles County the ability to expedite capital construction through various fiscal vehicles, including bonding.

In northern California, Alameda County voters seemed likely to defeat Measure B-1, a similar half-cent sales tax increase dedicated to transportation projects. Alameda County, which includes Oakland, would have received funds for a 4.8-mile extension of BART from Pleasanton to Livermore, Calif.

As in southern California, the Alameda County question garnered a majority of 65.5%, falling short of the required two-thirds supermajority. Absentee ballots remain to be counted, so the outcome is not yet certain, county officials told local media.