Modesto council will consider approving road tax spending plan

03/08/2014 7:07 PM

03/08/2014 7:08 PM

The Modesto City Council will be asked Tuesday to throw its support behind a spending plan for a countywide transportation tax that could be on the November ballot.

The potential half-cent tax is expected to bring in $970 million over 25 years for Stanislaus County and its nine cities, with 47 percent of the funding for streets and roads, 47 percent for three major projects and 6 percent for regional rail, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as seniors and the disabled.

The 47 percent for streets and roads would be allocated proportionately among the cities. For instance, as the county’s biggest city, Modesto would get 38.4 percent of the tax; Ceres, the county’s third-biggest city, would get 7 percent.

The major projects are an expressway linking Modesto and Oakdale, widening Highway 132 from San Joaquin County to Highway 99, and widening and extending West Main Street from Highway 99 to Interstate 5, improving the link between Turlock and Patterson.

In January, the Stanislaus Council of Government’s policy board adopted a basic plan for allocating the $970 million. StanCOG now is seeking approval of the spending plan from the county and its nine cities. The county, Turlock and Ceres have approved the plan. The tax needs two-thirds voter approval to pass if it is placed on the ballot.

City Manager Greg Nyhoff recommends the council approve the spending plan.

“It will allow our region to leverage additional state and federal funds,” he wrote in a report to the council, “and will provide significant additional local road maintenance funds for the city. This recommendation pertains solely to the expenditure plan and does not constitute an endorsement of the proposed tax measure.”

Two previous countywide transportation taxes fell short of passing in 2006 and 2008.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.

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