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Lawsuit Freezes $6 Billion Santa Clara County Transportation Tax

September 8, 2017

By The Fly : sanjoseinside – excerpt

Santa Clara County voters last year overwhelmingly approved a half-cent sales tax to invest more than $6 billion in transportation infrastructure. Measure B, a 30-year tax that began raking in revenue for the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) this year, promised to bring BART to downtown San Jose, upgrade Caltrain and highways, and bolster the region’s network of bicycle and pedestrian paths. Though the measure won more support than any transit tax in county history, one woman is on a mission to stop it.

Litigation filed earlier this year by Cheriel Jensen, a retired urban planner from Saratoga who once sued Santa Clara County over its mosquito fogging, is holding Measure B hostage—all $40 million collected to date. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, vice chair of the VTA board, decried the lawsuit as an attempt by one person “to exploit the judicial process” against the will of the voting public.

The crux of Jensen’s claim is that the measure’s language was too broad. In an interview with Fly, however, she said her real contention involves an “ancient aquifer” beneath the site of the planned BART station downtown. “They’ll start digging and they’ll find that the earth will start to collapse, and the water will be out of control, which means the cost of what they’re doing is going to skyrocket,” said Jensen, who used to work for the county and the city of San Jose, where she said she studied maps of the aquifer. “It’s never going to work,” she added..

The lawsuit—available online here—withholds funding in 2017 dollars from all Measure B programs(more)

As a reader points out, extending BART into an area that is already served by a train and bus lines is redundant and we are using tax dollars to create jobs for people who don’t live here and there is no housing for them once they get here. This gives land owners the excuse they need to “build more housing” and push residents out.

We need to quit using taxpayers funds to bring more jobs into an area that lacks residents needed to fill them and work, instead, on raising the living standards of the residents who are here now.

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