Measure C is a half-percent transportation sales tax that was approved by 55% of Contra Costa County voters in 1988. The sales tax has funded major transportation improvements in the County, such as the BART extension to North Concord and Bay Point, improvements to Route 4, as well as local streets and roads maintenance and improvements, transit services, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, and transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.
Measure C has two main elements:
- The "Expenditure Plan" governs the distribution of sales tax revenues to transportation projects and programs in the County.
- A "Growth Management Program" attempts to preserve the expenditure plan's investments by laying out certain requirements that cities and the county must meet in order to receive their share of Measure C's "Local Street Maintenance and Improvement" funding. One of these requirements is a certified Housing Element.
Measure J, approved by 70.5% of Contra Costa County voters on November 2, 2004, reauthorizes and extends the Measure C sales tax for 25 more years (through April 1, 2034) and requires the development of a new expenditure plan. The extended transportation sales tax will provide approximately $2 billion for countywide and local transportation projects and programs ($740 million for the original Measure C).
Measure J’s Expenditure Plan was developed over two years by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the cities and towns of Contra Costa, the County Board of Supervisors and numerous community, environmental labor and business groups, and residents. The Plan’s highlights include, among several other projects,
- $360 million for local streets and roads maintenance and improvement,
- $123 million for transit for seniors and people with disabilities, and
- A new 4th bore for the Caldecott Tunnel.
Under Measure J’s Growth Management Program, cities, towns and the County are required to comply with certain regulations in order to receive their share of Measure C funding. The Growth Management Program (GMP) included in Measure J requires local jurisdictions to adopt and continuously comply with a voter-approved Urban Limit Line (ULL) no later than April 1, 2009 in order to receive their share of Measure J Local Street Maintenance and Improvement Funds and to be eligible to receive Measure J Transportation for Livable Community funds. Local jurisdictions are also required to have a certified housing element in their General Plan in order to receive Measure J funds.
The City Council will consider adopting the voter approved ULL by Spring 2007. The City’s Housing Element was certified in 2003.