Monday, May 15, 2006

The case against Measure A

Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold lays out the most intelligent argument I've seen against Measure A, a nominally general tax for on the county's June ballot.

Anybody who has questions about the tax ought to the column, as well as this article in the San Jose Metro. They both make the argument against the tax that opponents should be making -- it is a dishonest attempt to build an expensive and inefficient BART extension to downtown San Jose that may ultimately be bad for transit riders.

At the same time, even Herhold's column does a much job of making the case for it than any of those silly voice-over commercials you see during the A's games -- it may be the only way to build what could be an important piece of infrastructure for a developing area of the county.

It would be nice to see both sides put those arguments out there and see what the public thinks. Instead, the they are spending all their energy making straw-man arguments and attacking each others' credibility.

This is the first tax election I've covered, and I have to say I am extremely disappointed in the way the process works.


Anonymous said...

Paying for transportation projects with sales taxes is terrible. It ties their success into the economy, so when things get bad, when people need transit the most, VTA has to cut back on service and raise fares.

This report has a good overview of what's been happening to California taxes

pogblog said...

I am a HUGE Bart fan. I'm willing to do anything to get it around the Bay asap. Should have happened 30 years ago.

Even if the arrangement ain't perfect, the system is necessary.

The idea of having to go all the way to Millbrae on Caltrain to get on Bart is nuts. (Go to Oakland on Bart & see if you don't agree.)