HJTA Files RM3 Lawsuit

The Howard Jrvis Taxpayers Association on July 5, 2018, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court against the Bay Area Toll Authority and the California State Legislature claiming Regional Measure 3, approved by voters on June 5, 2018, as well as enabling legislation Senate Bill 595, should be invalidated. HJTA claims that SB 595 was proposing a tax not a fee and therefore 2/3 approval from legislators should have been required. 

HJTA's suit also claims that Regional Measure 3 is also a tax proposal and should have required 2/3 approval by voters.  The measure passed with 55 percent voter approval.   Read More

RM 3 Passes by the Skin of Its Teeth

MTC posted the vote tally by county for Regional Measure 3.  Results are as of 9:00 am, June 6, 2018, with 100% of precincts reporting.  Contra Costa and Solano Counties did not want this toll increase and their NO votes were 56% and 70% respectively.  The rest of the Bay Area Counties cast anemic Yes votes, with San Francisco and Santa Clara predictably casting the highest Yes votes, at 65% and 61% respectively.  Had RM 3 been labeled a tax instead of a toll, it would not have passed.  Here is the tally.

RM3 Results

Opponents to Regional Measure 3

The June 5, 2018 ballot of all nine Bay Area counties will see a particularly questionable proposal:  Regional Measure 3.  Concerns over this measure are so plentiful that we have collected some of them in this special section of the Nine-County Coalition website.

Handouts Opposing Regional Measure 3

One page describes RM3, and the other lists concerns.   Download

Emphatic handout emphasizing the downsides of regionalism inherent in RM3!  Download

Allies Opposing Regional Measure 3

Special thanks to Occupy MTC, sponsored by TRANSDEF, for valiant volunteer work to expose the downsides of RM 3.  A long list of other allies is on the Occupy MTC website. 

Vote NO on Deceptive Regional Measure 3

Zelda Bronstein, Berkeley Daily Planet, May 4, 2018

"RM3 is bold all right: it’s an audacious con that dedicates $4.5 billion to a hodgepodge of disconnected projects that will bring the Bay Area little traffic relief…"

"RM3’s oversight provisions include the creation of an 'Independent Office of the BART Inspector General.' This is the Legislature’s idea of independence: BART would nominate three persons to the Governor, who would then appoint one of them to a four-year term. In its first year of operation, the office would get $1 million of bridge tolls and, if BATA wishes, more in subsequent years. So much for 'robust public accountability and oversight.' Read More

Transportation Working Group Opposes Regional Measure 3

Bay Area Transportation Working Group

...And finally, there is the matter of RM3’s constitutionality.  In order to qualify RM3 for a 50% “do pass” vote, the $3 or more in additional bridge tolls to be raised by the measure have been defined as “fees”.  However under the California Constitution fees are clearly intended to produce benefits for the fee payers.  Since most of the voters who would be receiving the $billions in new highway and transit projects if RM3 passes would not be fee payers, RM3 comes nowhere close to meeting that standard.  RM3 is therefore about new taxes, not new fees.  And tax measures require a 66.7% vote, not a 50% vote.  This puts RM3 in direct conflict with the California Constitution.  Read More

Regional Measure 3: Empty Promises

Linda Koelling

It can be said, that when the government is careless with the money of its citizens, it is careless with their future. You may be familiar with Regional Measure 3, which states that if approved by voters, a pot of money will be used to mitigate traffic congestion. Like many previous measures, it is a misleading and egregious narrative.  When you look at the countless number of tax initiatives and fees that have been brought before the taxpayers for the past several years and continue coming, you can't help but wonder where the money is really being spent.

Regional Measure 3, on the June ballot, is deceptive and bureaucracy out of control. Its multi-purpose promises regarding a variety of improvements will make it difficult to hold legislators accountable.  This laundry list of various promises is being created for each of the nine bay area counties. So, the question is, which county will see any or all fulfilled?  Read More.

RM3 Opposition: Quieter Than It Should Be

Nine-County Coalition

We cannot help but wonder why such big "power players" are willing to spend so much time and treasure on ensuring the passage of RM3 -- as they did with Measure AA -- if indeed "there has been no organized opposition." 

Maybe it is because they know other legislators besides Mark deSaulnier and Catharine Baker are questioning the efficacy and transparency of RM3.  This from another Matier & Ross article,

Even with the sweeteners, there was opposition from Contra Costa County, with state Assembly members Jim Frazier, D-Brentwood, Tim Grayson, D-Concord, and Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon, all voting “no.”  Frazier, who chairs the Assembly Transportation Committee, said that while there was a need for transportation improvements, “adding another tax on commuters is not the answer.” He likened an $8 toll to “highway robbery.”

Or maybe it is because they know there is opposition from small players like smaller businesses that need to truck goods across California's state-owned bridges, or lower-income folks whose realities of life prevent them from taking public transit to and from their workplaces, or people who see through a poorly managed RM3 plan.  These smaller unorganized players are the quiet threat to the big and powerful.   Read More

Regional Measure 3: Consider BATA and MTC Track Records

Nine-County Coalition

Now we are faced with Regional Measure 3 on the June 5, 2018 ballot, which needs to be viewed in the context of BATA and MTC track records, legality (is this really a user fee, when revenue is intended to fund non-bridge projects such as MUNI transit?), and equity (is this a question of lower-income Alameda riders funding higher-income Silicon Valley non-riders?).   Read More

Toll Increases Are Not the Answer We Deserve

Timothy S. Grayson, East Bay Times, 09/07/17

Where is the equity? That is what East Bay legislators have been asking proponents of Regional Measure 3 (RM3) to increase our six state-owned bridge tolls by up to $3 per crossing. Unfortunately, the problem is even worse than most realize and the wrong people are being asked to foot the bill for the Bay Area’s transportation problems.

...the current structure of RM3 makes it one of the least equitable plans ever conceived. Under the current plan, projects in Santa Clara County are set to receive 23 percent of the proposed new revenue generated and BART — which does not directly service Solano County — would receive nearly $1 billion, all on the backs of East Bay residents, including residents of Solano County for whom BART is not a realistic optionRead More

Metropolitan Transportation Commission and "Ice Tea"

MTC’s forever growing bureaucratic power and its spendthrift tendencies have been the subject of numerous articles on this website.  Also often mentioned on this website are MTC’s origins as a product of Plan Bay Area, Senate Bill 375- “Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008,” and Assembly Bill 32- “California Global Warming Solutions Act.”  

However, it might also be useful to discuss MTC’s role as the official federal Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) tasked with promoting “sustainable development” as envisioned by federal legislation. Read More

Regional Measure 3 on the June Ballot

Nine-County Coalition participants have concerns over Regional Measure 3 (RM3).  The measure will most likely appear on the June 2018 ballot of the nine Bay Area counties.  As in the case of 2016 Measure AA, RM3 depends for passage on the combined approval of voters in all nine Bay Area counties.  Unlike Measure AA, RM3 will only require a simple majority of “Yes” votes to pass, since RM3 is a toll not a tax. Read More