B1 transportation sales tax measure loses by fraction of percent
Final count shows measure failed with 66.53% favorable votes, just short of 2/3rds needed
Alameda County Registrar David Macdonald reported this week that final results of the Nov. 6 election show that the hotly contested Measure B1 transportation tax lost by a fraction of a percent in a final tally of all votes cast.
Macdonald said that the measure received 350,899 Yes votes, or 66.53% of the votes cast on the measure, against 176,504 votes, or 33.47%. The measure needed a two-thirds majority vote to pass, or 66.6%.
The measure would have doubled Alameda County's transportation sales tax to a full 1 cent, adding a half-cent to the earlier voter-approved transportation tax of a half-cent that was approved in 1986. It also would have made the full 1-cent tax permanent with a provision that it would come again before voters in 20 years, but would require only a majority vote to be continued in perpetuity.
It would have raised additional tax revenue to increase spending on roads, freeways, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements and transit-oriented developments, proponents said.
Opponents said in their ballot argument that the measure would be "a massive tax increase" that would disproportionately harm working families because a greater percentage of their income goes to sales taxes.
Analysts also said that a recount is unlikely since that effort is costly and there's no clearly identified group, such as a political party or candidate, who would step forward to pay the bill.