Supporters of a proposed half-cent sales tax for road repairs in Napa County are optimistic that voters will approve the measure this November, six years after a broader measure failed at the ballot box amid arguments that funds would flow to projects beyond the county’s ailing rural roads.
If enacted, Measure T would take the place of a half-cent sales tax to fund flood control in Napa County, maintaining the current sales tax rate of 7.75 percent when the flood tax expires in 2018. The measure would generate approximately $11 million annually for road repairs and $252 million over its 25-year lifespan, with revenue divided between the county and municipalities.
Napa and Solano are the only Bay Area counties that lack a so-called “self-help” road tax.
Officials in North Bay counties have long been aware of the looming road-quality problem, yet traditional revenue streams for road repair have significantly diminished in recent years. While Sonoma County voters passed a broad quarter-cent sales tax for roads and highway improvements in 2004, Measure M, much of the revenue allocated for maintenance has been exhausted.
Contributions from California’s gasoline tax have also waned in value due to inflation and lower consumption, and voters defeated a new tax measure for road repairs in Sonoma County in 2010. [read more of "Advocates hopeful for passage of Napa road tax"]
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