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California's Notorious Local Tax Law Loosens Its Grip

The state’s Supreme Court’s new ruling might make it easier to raise funds for funding transit and infrastructure projects.
Will transit funding in California get easier?
Will transit funding in California get easier?Mike Blake/Reuters

Last November, Sacramento County, California, floated a countywide tax hike to fund transportation projects. The measure would have funded a light-rail extension to the airport, the widening of a local freeway, and other projects. All seven cities in the county backed the effort, and Sacramento’s mayor loaned the campaign $200,000.

It won the support of more than 65 percent of Sacramento County voters. But in the uniquely byzantine world of California planning and finance, that meant it failed.