“Sales Tax for Countywide Road Improvement Plan Approved”

KION Newschannel 5/46

Monterey County wants to move forward with plans to improve its damaged roads. The Transportation Agency $600 million sales tax measure was approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday afternoon.

The plan calls for a 3/8-cent sales tax hike over the next 30 years, all to be invested in county road maintenance and traffic safety. The approval was a big win for the Transportation Agency of Monterey County.

“This represents the culmination of 18 months’ worth of work bringing together people throughout the county that said these are the different pieces we need in this plan,” said Debbie Hale, Executive Director of TAMC.

The plan was developed over months and looks to address a wide range of projects and concerns; everything from public transportation to pedestrian safety to road repairs.

“It’s based on traffic volume, connections that are important to our agricultural community, important to our tourism community, and also important in terms of safety improvement, ” said Benny Young with the Monterey County Resource Agency.

According to county officials, the current local sales tax on gas is not enough to maintain existing roadways.

“And that’s one reason the roads are so banged up right now, and this would allow us the ability to invest in ourselves, ” said Young.

County officials also stressed that this isn’t a state or federal tax hike. It’s local money working for local projects, which is something the community supports.

‘We found that people really want something done, and they’re willing to invest in their local community, ” said Hale.

The next step comes in July, when the Board of Supervisors will decide whether the tax measure will be put on the November ballot.

To see the video clip of Steve Furndaro’s news story which aired on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, click onto: