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Council Agrees on Need for Local Transportation Funding, Will Look to Future Election

The City Council voted unanimously on Monday, June 27 to consider working toward some form of local tax for the 2017 or possibly 2018 ballot, and to form a stakeholder committee similar to the Blue Ribbon Task Force process developed for the 2014 Transient Occupancy Tax.  There was overall agreement that local funding is needed to support transportation measures to ease traffic congestion and parking availability, but the Council expressed concerns that a local measure could impact the Valley Transportation Authority sales tax measure for regional transportation projects that will be on this fall's ballot, as well as the need for more time to build consensus and conduct outreach on the structure and form of a local tax.  Polling conducted by the City’s polling firm FM3 showed the potential for a slight drop in support for the VTA measure if both were placed on the same ballot, and the VTA measure will need two-thirds (66%) of voter support to pass.  The Council directed staff to return with a timeline of plan activities and the formation of a balanced stakeholder group to guide the process.