Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

June 22, 2004 > June 16, 2004:

June 16, 2004:

Thanks to the many transit supporters who contacted Governor Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers to oppose drastic cuts to three Bay Area transit systems!

BART and AC Transit officials report success in efforts to renegotiate a proposed two-year shift in property tax revenues to help balance the state budget. While the Schwarzenegger Administration and the California Special District Association have indicated their support for the deal, it must be reviewed and approved by the Legislature and incorporated into the FY 2004-05 state budget.

Transit riders who rely on BART, AC Transit, or Marin County Transit District can breathe a big sigh of relief that the budgets for these agencies will be pinched rather than pummeled for the next two fiscal years. The proposal, part of a larger effort brokered by the California Special District Association, cities and counties and others, had previously sought to take 40 percent of AC Transit's, BART's and Marin County Transit's local property tax and shift those funds to the state. The new agreement would shift only 3 percent.

According to BART and AC Transit, the cuts will not necessitate further fare increases or service reductions. Marin County Transit District already faces a structural deficit of approximately $1 million, so it is unclear at this time how they will absorb further cuts; nevertheless the reduced hit will certainly make their budget-balancing act less onerous.

Impact of Cuts By Agency:

Agency Original Revised
AC Transit $20 million $1.5 million
BART $9 million $670,000
Marin County Transit $600,000 $66,000

These proposed cuts are part of a larger negotiation between the Schwarzenegger Administration and cities, counties and special districts to contribute a total of $2.6 billion in property taxes to the state's budget over the next two years. As part of the deal, special districts are to contribute $350 million each year.

Again, thank you for your actions on behalf of AC Transit, BART and Marin County Transit District.

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