Denis Cuff | Contra Costa Times
Alameda County voters doubled their transportation sales tax to a full 1 percent just two years after defeating a similar increase by 721 votes.
This time around, Measure BB won by a cushion of about two percent more than the required two-thirds, according to unofficial results from all precincts in the county.
The tax increase garnered 69.6 percent support, more than the 66.7 percent required to pass. The measure led from start to finish on election night.
The increase gives Alameda County the highest transportation sales tax rate of any county in Northern California.
Measure BB will raise $7.8 billion over 30 years to fix potholes, improve freeways, boost public transit, and add bike lanes and hiking and riding trails. It also provides a $400 million down payment on a BART rail extension to Livermore.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors and all 14 city councils in the county backed the tax increase. They said the extra local spending on transportation is needed to fight traffic congestion and air pollution, and to offset a long-term decline in state and federal funding.
Passage of Measure BB doubles the current half-percent sales tax to 1 percent and extends it to 2045. The tax otherwise would have expired in 2022.
Opponents say the measure was too big a sales tax increase too soon, giving Alameda County one of the largest overall sales tax rates in California. The increase boosts the overall sales tax rate to 9.5 percent in most parts of Alameda County. Read more