NWP Historical Society on SMART Tax Extension
Author: Friend of NWP
Date: 11-06-2019 - 08:22
From The Headlight September Ė October 2019
SMART Tax Extension Faces Problems
The SMART Board of Directors is considering placing a measure on the March 2020 ballot to extend the quarter-cent sales tax approved by the voters in 2008 another 30 years, but it may face substantial opposition because the transit agency has failed in its promise to deliver Cloverdale to Larkspur service and only a minimum of mileage of bike paths has been completed.
While the two-mile Larkspur extension is virtually finished and should open later this year, and funding for the three-mile Windsor extension has been identified, SMART has no schedule and hasnít found a source for the $364 million needed to extend service to Healdsburg and Cloverdale. Without even a time-line for completing the promised trackage, SMART board members fear the sales tax extension will not pass. Another obstacle to passage is the lack of completion of the promised bicycle and pedestrian path which was supposed to run adjacent to the line but has only 20 miles completed to date. Bicycle groups led the support for the original tax but may be reluctant to support the extension.
Help may come from a campaign team being assembled in SMARTís two counties. Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairman David Rabbitt, Novato Mayor Eric Lucan and former Marin County Supervisor Cynthia Murray have pledged their involvement in effort to extend the quarter-cent sales originally adopted in 2008 for another 30 years.