Sacramento — Sacramento Bee Supports Streetcar
The Sacramento Bee published an editorial urging residents to join in supporting the streetcar project. The timing is critical as in mid-January 2015 mail ballots are to be sent to property owners within three blocks of the planned streetcar route. They will be asked to vote whether they would support a tax assessment to build the 3.3-mile line. Their responses are due by February 17. This round is considered an advisory vote, so is not legally binding. However, if it passes, an official vote will be held in May. A two-thirds majority is required from the 2,700 registered voters in the district to approve the tax levy.
If the advisory vote fails, the streetcar project will stop after almost 10 years of planning efforts. If it passes, and all goes well, the line could be running by late 2017.
Construction estimates are $150 million with 50% expected from the Federal Transit Administration. West Sacramento would contribute $25 million and Sacramento $50 million. Project planners hope that of Sacramento's share, $10 million would be from the state, another $7 million from the city, and $3 million from Sacramento County. The remaining $30 million would come from the special tax in the district served. In January 2015 the City Council unanimously voted to fund their $7 million share so long as property owners voe for the tax assessment.
Some notable Sacramento property developers are supporting the streetcar plan to enhance the value of their investments. Support from out of town developers is unclear.
If the line is built it would be managed by a nonprofit board with private representatives. This is designed to appeal to developers who would prefer that the line not be controlled by Regional Transit.