SMART Sales Tax Renewal
The Sonoma Marin Area Regional Transit (SMART) District is placing a measure on the March 2020 Ballot to extend its existing 1/4% sales tax until the year 2059.
Because the current sales tax authorization (Measure Q of 2008) expires in 2029, its funding is now known to be insufficient to maintain current service levels while work continues on the envisioned project north of Windsor. Financial projections are summarized in the 2019 approved strategic plan for the SMART Project, which can be found here in draft form.
The Transportation and Land-Use Coalition supports the proposed tax renewal for the following reasons:
The SMART train and multi-use pathway give North Bay residents attractive alternatives to driving that is a great benefit now and for generations to come. The project serves both public convenience and the environment.
The SMART project has had remarkable success in re-establishing passenger rail service and building the multi-use pathway in spite of the extensive financial disruption caused by the Great Recession in 2009. Since the first phase of rail service commenced in 2017 the trains have carried more than a million and a half riders, and two thirds of the adjoining pathway is now in use or under construction. SMART already serves 80% of the population included in its initial vision, and should be enabled to build out its original vision.