Sacramento Streetcar Proposal Defeated

Though the supporters plan to keep at it, it was soundly—and wisely— voted down by the property owners along the route, as this story in the Sacramento Bee reports.

An excerpt.

Sacramento streetcar advocates say they won’t give up their quest to build a downtown trolley system, despite voters’ rejection this week of the financing plan.

The problem, they acknowledge, is that they have no Plan B for coming up with new local funds to build the 3.3-mile, $150 million line, which would have streetcars rumbling over the Tower Bridge and through downtown and midtown Sacramento to 19th Street.

Downtown Sacramento voters Tuesday soundly rejected a plan to set up a $30 million streetcar tax district to help finance the project. Fifty-two percent of those casting ballots opposed the plan, which needed a two-thirds margin to pass. 

Notably, the vote occurred among a small number of registered voters – 3,700 – who live within three blocks of the proposed rail line in downtown and midtown. Under state law, those voters had the say over whether property owners in the same area should pay the trolley tax, even though the voters were a mix of property owners and renters. The election was held by mail over the past month. As of Tuesday night, 1,215 residents had submitted ballots, with 627 voting no.

Sacramento County voter registration officials said they will continue to accept mail this week, if it was postmarked by Tuesday. They plan to release a final vote tally Monday.

The thumbs-down from voters follows a February advisory vote held among owners of downtown property within three blocks of the line, the entities who would actually pay the assessment. That vote had no legal effect, but it signaled mixed feelings.

Retrieved June 4, 2015 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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