Vote yes on streetcar, yes on Measure B

Learn more about Sacramento streetcar at
See SN&R Feature Story “Ride the line?” for more information.

Want fewer cars on the grid?

Want more sustainable-transit options that fight climate change?

Want an easy, affordable way to get around the central city?

Then vote yes on Measure B, which will help make Sacramento’s streetcar a reality.

Measure B is sometimes called a “streetcar tax.” We’ve put quotation marks around the term, though, because while it is very much a tax, it’s also misleading.

Consider: If you live on the grid and vote yes for Measure B, your home or apartment will be taxed to help pay for construction. But it won’t be taxed that much.

In fact, residential property owners will only end up paying about .5 percent of the streetcar’s estimated $150 million construction cost.

So, who is paying for the streetcar? Everyone’s kicking in a bit, it seems.

The federal government appears poised to give $75 million in transit grants. West Sacramento’s already voted to throw down $25 million. The city and county of Sacramento agreed to put in $7 million and $3 million, respectively. And the state is likely to kick in $10 million.

Of the Measure B tax money, which will be around $30 million to $35 million in total, 99 percent will come from larger commercial-property owners, such as the Sacramento Kings and developer David Taylor. They’re paying nearly all of the streetcar tax, not Midtown and downtown residents.

Measure B ballots will hit residents’ mailboxes this week, and two-thirds of voters need to send them back by June 2 with a “yes” for the initiative to pass.

SN&R strongly urges that “yes” vote.

Sure, we have concerns about streetcar ridership projections and operation costs, and that transit investment in the grid might adversely impact underserved neighborhoods.

But remember: Sacramento’s streetcar project is more than 10 years in the making. It’s a low-risk investment with a high return if you care about curbing carbon-dioxide emissions and living in a transit-oriented community.

Vote “yes” on Measure B, and see you on the streetcar!