By the Daily Post staff
VTA is floating the idea of using 75% of the money from 2016’s Measure B sales tax over 10 years to fund construction of the BART extension to San Jose at the expense of other transportation projects, such as road repairs and Caltrain crossings that could benefit the North County.
Measure B’s proponents promised that only 25% of the tax, expected to raise $6.3 billion over its 30-year life, would go to BART.
But VTA now wants to take the lion’s share of the tax revenues between 2022 and 2030 and spend them on the BART project. After 2030, VTA would increase funding for the other projects, so that after 30 years, they would keep their 25% promise.
VTA officials contend that the 25% cap applies to the 30-year life of the tax — not in each individual year.
The amount of Measure B money for non-BART projects — such as bridges at rail crossings known as grade separations — would drop from $148 million a year to just $50 million through 2030, according to VTA estimates. The proposal would also reduce the money available for repairs to local streets, highway improvements and other transit improvements during the next decade.
Committee rejects plan
VTA’s Policy Advisory Committee, which is made up of city officials from throughout the county, unanimously rejected the spending plan on Nov. 12, though the VTA Board of Directors will have the final say. The board is dominated by San Jose officials, however.
BART has been extended to the Berryessa Flea Market stop. VTA hopes to break ground on the final leg of the BART-to-San Jose extension, from Berryessa to Diridon Station, in 2022 and complete it by 2030.