Humboldt County voters will be asked to consider Measure U on the November ballot; a 20-year, half-cent special sales tax to fund transportation needs such as road maintenance, repairs, fixing potholes and other aging transportation infrastructure. Measure U requires a two-thirds majority to pass and is estimated to bring in $10 million per year to the Humboldt region.
“For years, our state’s leaders have talked about solutions and while that talk has been cheap, the problems have grown even more expensive,” Senator Mike McQuire, D- Healdsburg, said at a Town Hall meeting in May.
Counties that have implemented local sales tax measures for transportation, called “Self-Help Counties,” create and maintain jobs for transportation infrastructure, maintenance and operations and are more successful in leveraging a larger share of state and federal dollars. Current revenue for county transportation needs is declining and not keeping pace with rising construction costs. This funding measure will offset the revenue shortfall from the state’s gas tax, which has not increased since 1994, is not indexed to inflation resulting in diminishing buying power and has significantly decreased due to rising fuel-efficiency and electric vehicles.
“Like so many counties all around California, our roads are failing and the State doesn’t have our back” said Mark Lovelace, Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “If we want to stop our roads from crumbling, we’ll need to help ourselves. Measure U lays out a clear plan to fix and maintain our roads and transportation infrastructure so that voters can know exactly where the funds will be spent. Also, the money stays here and cannot be taken by the State.”
Measure U is a 20-year plan generating approximately $200 million, $86 million of which will go specifically to the unincorporated parts of the county. Below is a list of priority projects for the county and a link to a map showing the roads to be addressed in the first five years of the measure.
Map of roads to receive Measure U funding