The following proposals for ballot concepts for the November Metro referendum were made by board members on Thursday, July 26 and posted by Metro. Board members also voted unanimously to hold the election on November 6.
Board Ballot Proposals
For Analysis And Consideration
July 26, 2012
1. G. Stobb, L. Castañeda, B. Ballanfant, C. Siegel
VOTE YES OR NO
Shall METRO continue to dedicate twenty-five percent (25%) of METRO’s sales and use tax revenues for street improvements and related projects, as authorized by law and with no increase in the current rate of METRO’s sales and use tax.
2. G. Garcia
VOTERS CHOOSE A OR B
A. Continue METRO’s General Mobility program at the fiscal year 2014 amount through 2030.
B. Continue METRO’s General Mobility program for all jurisdictions to get 25% of METRO’s sales tax revenue collections from within their jurisdictions through 2030.
3. A. Watson
VOTE YES OR NO
1. Increase bonding limit, not to exceed $200 million ($200,000,000.00), for the express purpose of partnering with any local agency or state created authority to plan, design and construct non-rail transit projects. Partnering agency/authority must commit a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) to the projects’ construction costs.
2. Continue the General Mobility plan (GMP) funding at a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of METRO’s annual tax revenues received during METRO’s 2014 fiscal year. The funding will remain at that fixed/capped level until September 30, 2030. Allocation of funds shall be renegotiated with METRO’s GMP partners, similar to current allocations, but no less than twenty-three percent (23%) of the one cent sales tax collected in a city or unincorporated area.
3. Develop and implement a user fare plan that improves point of sale technology and allows users to manage usage and maximize transfer benefits. The plan shall include board approval for fare changes necessary to implement technology improvements and adjust for other variable costs of operation and maintenance.
4. D. Jefferson
VOTERS CHOOSE A OR B
A. Should METRO continue the General Mobility program, setting aside 25% of its one-cent sales tax for road projects in the City of Houston, Harris County and the Multi-Cities.
B. Should METRO discontinue the General Mobility program, retaining full use of the one-cent sales tax for transit purposes.
5. C. Spieler
VOTE YES OR NO
The referendum passed by the voters in 2003 (the “1st referendum”) included a first phase of 4 rail lines as well as a General Mobility program lasting from 2009 to 2014. Since these rail lines have not been completed, both General Mobility and rail construction will continue until voters can make a decision on future transit expansion and General Mobility.
Therefore, we will follow through on the 2003 referendum for another 5 years:
1. The General Mobility program shall continue at exactly 25% of METRO’s sales tax for another 5 years to 2019, thus doubling the voter-approved term. Each member jurisdiction shall be allocated 25% of the sales tax collected within its jurisdiction to spend on any transportation projects authorized by the state transportation code.
2. METRO’s sales tax bonding authority shall be increased by $640 million, thus doubling the voter-approved authority. Bonds may be issued only based on the 75% of METRO’s sales tax currently allocated to transit purposes, and may only be issued if METRO is in a financial position to uphold all other terms of this referendum.
3. METRO shall continue work on the last of the four first-phase lines in the 2003 referendum, from wheeler station to Hillcroft Transit Center via Greenway Plaza, with future connections to Uptown, along a combination of Richmond and Westpark. To recognize the benefit to the city’s infrastructure from this project, the roadwork, utility and right-of-way portion of this project (but not the transit facility itself) will be funded from the city of Houston’s allocation of General Mobility.
4. Until 2019, METRO shall not decrease the level of bus service (measured in yearly revenue hours, excluding service funded by contract) below the fy2012 level.
5. Until 2019, METRO shall not raise bus or rail fares.
METRO shall hold a third referendum by 2019 laying out a plan for the next phase of transit expansion and a proposal for the future of the General Mobility program.
If this second referendum does not pass, the METRO board shall not build any more rail lines other than those currently under construction, and shall cease General Mobility payments, instead placing 25% of METRO’s sales tax into an escrow fund, until the voters do pass a referendum on future transit expansion and General Mobility.
6. C. Patman
VOTERS CHOOSE FOR OR AGAINST
METRO shall dedicate 25% of METRO’s sales and use tax revenues through September 30, 2016, to street improvements and related projects as authorized by §451.065 of the METRO act [with no increase in the current rate of METRO’s sales and use tax] with METRO to call an election before September 30, 2016, seeking a local determination by voters regarding METRO’s continuing support after September 30, 2016, for improvements of the types described in §451.065 of the METRO act.
Note: the following is the section of the legislation that created Metro and governs the projects that can be undertaken by the entities receiving the diversion of tax monies from Metro:
Sec. 451.065. ROADWAYS, TRAILS, LIGHTING: CERTAIN AUTHORITIES. (a) An authority confirmed before July 1, 1985, may, in the authority:
(1) construct or maintain a highway, local or arterial street, thoroughfare, or other road, including a bridge or grade separation; and
(2) install or operate traffic control improvements, including signals.
(b) An authority confirmed before 1985 may, in the authority:
(1) construct or maintain a sidewalk, hiking trail, or biking trail;
(2) install or maintain streetlights; and
(3) in performing an activity under Subdivision (1) or (2), make drainage improvements and take drainage-related measures as reasonable and necessary for the effective use of the transportation facility being constructed or maintained.
(c) An authority may perform an activity authorized by this section through an agreement with another governmental entity, including an agreement under Chapter 791, Government Code, with a state agency listed under Section 771.002, Government Code.
(d) An authority may not perform an activity authorized by this section in a municipality without:
(1) the consent of the governing body of the municipality; or
(2) a contract with the municipality specifying the actions that the authority may undertake.
(e) Subsection (a) does not apply to the performance of an action undertaken by the authority under Section 451.056(a)(1) or 451.058.
(f) This section does not apply to an authority created before 1980 in which the principal municipality has a population of less than 1.9 million.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163, Sec. 140, eff. September 1, 2011.