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Politics

Ventura County Officials Weighing Possibility Of Ballot Measure For New Transportation Sales Tax

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Getting stuck in traffic is a frustrating, often daily problem for tens of thousands of South Coast commuters. Maybe you’re one of them. But would you be willing to pay a little more in taxes to help ease the region’s traffic jams?

Ventura County voters could potentially face that question this November.

Local, state and federal officials say that, unlike 20 other California Counties, Ventura County doesn’t have a have special transportation tax that could raise money to add the transportation infrastructure it needs.

Next week, the Ventura County Transportation Commission is expected to decide whether to pursue a half-cent sales tax proposal to go on this November’s ballot.

This isn’t the first time this has been proposed in the county.

A 2004 ballot measure went down to defeat. But, with state and federal transportation dollars drying up, many urban counties have turned to sales taxes to create their own funding to get project built.

There’s another big motivator for a sales tax. With state and federal transportation dollars limited, officials favor giving the bulk of the dollars to local agencies which are willing to put in some matching funds.