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Friday, July 06, 2012
Citizens committee reviews Santa Clara VTA's Measure A spending
During fiscal-year 2011, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) spent Measure A tax dollars in accordance with the intent of the voter-approved sales-tax measure, according to a Citizens Watchdog Committee report.
The committee is tasked with providing the public with an update on how the funds are being spent. In November 2000, Santa Clara County voters approved Measure A, which dedicates a half-cent sales tax to improving the county’s public transit system. The tax has been collected since April 2006.
The committee recently completed its review of expenditures, evaluated results of an independent audit of Measure A financial records and conducted a public hearing in May, VTA officials said in a prepared statement.
In the past six years, VTA achieved milestones on projects within the Measure A program, despite a decline in local sales tax revenue as well as the economic downturn that began in late 2008, they said.
The agency aggressively pursued additional sources of funding, alternative grant opportunities, joint development and cost-sharing opportunities with local municipalities and other governmental agencies, and public-private partnerships, VTA officials said.
Accomplishments include: acquisition of property and the relocation of utilities and freight-rail tracks to prepare the corridor for the Bay Area Rapid Transit Silicon Valley Extension Project; purchase of 70 low-floor light rail vehicles; construction of Caltrain safety enhancements at eight grade crossings; and the beginning of construction of the first phase of the Capitol Expressway light-rail project.