Counties strike deal on Caltrain tax measure | August 7, 2020 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 7, 2020

Counties strike deal on Caltrain tax measure

Supervisors agree to keep governance reforms off of ballot, include them in separate resolution

by Gennady Sheyner

Seeking to ward off a predicted financial meltdown of Caltrain, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agreed on Tuesday to support placing on the November ballot a sales tax measure to fund the transit agency's operations.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at [email protected]


Posted by PhilB
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 5, 2020 at 10:34 am

PhilB is a registered user.

Finally, a voice of reason.

It would be sheer lunacy to let Caltrain shut down. No one has repealed the laws of economics, which says that a recession is always followed by a recovery, no matter what the "Chicken Little" people are saying.

Posted by No to more taxes
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 5, 2020 at 10:59 am

No to more taxes is a registered user.

This tax would generate more funds than CalTrain now uses. You know with the extra money they will just pay themselves more and waste the funds. Plus we don't need more taxes.

It is time for our elected representatives to look seriously at what services are needed to serve the community and focus on those. They may need to cut some services to individuals, cut salaries, cut overhead and get serious about what really needs to be funded.

We do need more funds to go to services that benefit all of the residents of the area but these should come from the large amount of tax that is already collected and community funding should supplant funding that only benefits individuals. It is called making hard choices and the community well being should come first.

Funding for trains, roads, parks, community playing fields, hospitals, that benefit everyone, should be the priority.

Posted by CGPA
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 5, 2020 at 11:08 am

CGPA is a registered user.

It still has to pass a bunch of voters working from home, possibly for years, who may see little benefit to paying for it.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 5, 2020 at 11:26 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

CGPA was the one threatening violence on another topic. Sounded like the group that is intent on taking down the economy of the state. To what purpose? If you keep taking down major cities then there will be no tourist, no new jobs, no new housing.

The train is operating now. People are going places. The golf courses are filled up. The people are on the streets eating dinner. People are on the move. It is coming back. Everyone is not going to be sitting in their homes working. YEAH. Still do not see the governor stepping in here. Transportation should be a main state budget item. It should not be left up to the SF supervisors who sit in their offices all day.
The governor needs to focus on major issues which effect the total economy. Yes - one focus now but that is temporary.

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Kathy is a registered user.

Caltrain is a great resource, however, the trains are running empty, with Covid and everyone telecommuting. The proposed Caltrain sales tax @ $100 million/year is $70 million more/year than the $30 million in subsidies Caltrain currently receives from already existing and remaining transportation sales taxes. That extra $30 million/year won't be refunded to us if this new, additional sales tax is passed. It'll just be absorbed by the other not so efficient transit agencies, VTA, Samtrans, and Muni. I suggest Muni, VTA and Samtrans economize instead in these down times.

Santa Clara County's sales tax is already a minimum of 9% --- a regressive tax on the low income and unemployed population to generate an extra $70 million/year to transport Caltrain's affluent ridership. 30 year regressive taxes aren't needed to get over temporary financing bumps, especially when there are existing transportation sales taxes in place.

Posted by Be accurate
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 5, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Be accurate is a registered user.

The word "lunacy" has been brought up. This is a diesel powered train, as far as I know. In the Silicon Valley ... in 2020 ... and going forward.
The Caltrain electrification project started as far back as 1992. Several cities sued over elevated tracks, etc. The funding has been stopped by Elaine Chao, the "transportation secretary" appointed based on merit exclusively.
This is what lunacy is. 2020 ... USA ... Silicon Valley ... diesel.

Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 5, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Me 2 is a registered user.

What's with Supervisor Cindy Chavez and her love of sales taxes?

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Aug 5, 2020 at 2:29 pm

chris is a registered user.


The time of the people gridlocked on the roads is worth far more than the cost of this tax. It this fails, the little people who have to drive to work will be hurt the worst regardless of how regressive you think this tax is.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

@Be Accurate:

How Ironic! You are writing about diesel while poles and wires are being installed every night, AND EMU train sets have been being manufactured in Salt Lake City for three years. The first train set is being live tested for delivery when the power is ready.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 5, 2020 at 2:39 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Reportedly car sales are up and use of mass transit is down.

As Kathy notes above, lots of competing transit authorities who don't apparently work well with each other resulting in inflated costs, waste, overlap, unnecessary inconveniences due to poor planning and failure to communicate etc

We're already over-taxed. Let them cot costs for a change.

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Aug 5, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

@Be accurate

They're actually diesel-electric hybrid locomotives, like a hybrid car.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 5, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

Yes what is out there today is diesel-electric. Here is a link to what is on the way. Only in CA would we shut down a transit system in construction of new motive power and vehicles, all already paid for. Shouldn't we give the new system a chance first?

Web Link

Posted by Be accurate
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 5, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Be accurate is a registered user.

Hi all commenters, thank you.
Now .. want to know what ironic is?
It is this:
Web Link
and this:
Web Link
and this:
Web Link
and this:
Web Link

But by all means, let us celebrate electrifying 75% of the diesel (sorry, hybrid) train by 2022 ... now maybe 2023. Seriously, so much can be achieved in a society that has basic checks for self-centered and immature (and inefficient) corporate greed.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 5, 2020 at 6:33 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Accurate - not going to open a bunch of untitled entry's. what is your point? Just say it.

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