The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously endorsed countywide
plans to place a three-quarter cent sales tax on this November’s
ballot and use the proceeds – $1.5 billion in 30 years – to fund
freeway widening, road repairs, commuter rail, and alternative
transportation projects. In so doing, Santa Barbara joined the
councils of Lompoc, Santa Maria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Buellton, and
the Board of Supervisors in supporting the renewal of an expanded
Measure D, the countywide road improvement ballot measure initially
passed in 1989. Still to sign on are the councils of Carpinteria
and Solvang, where support for the proposal is far less certain.
Even so, the measure has garnered the requisite support needed to
be placed on the November ballot – the endorsement of government
agencies representing a majority of the county’s population. Making
the matter politically challenging is the quarter-cent tax increase
included in the new Measure D – the existing measure is a half-cent
sales tax – and the two-thirds majority required for passage.


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