Webinar: Ballots for Buses: Local Option Transportation Sales Taxes in California
California counties have held nearly 100 elections over four decades to consider imposing local option sales taxes (LOSTs) to fund transportation programs. Most LOST propositions have been successful even when they required a two-thirds supermajority, and when other tax-related measures have failed badly. This webinar will review the history of these measures, present their major characteristics, their political implications, and examine how counties balance accountability to the voters against the need for flexibility to meet changing conditions. The authors have created a database containing information on failed and approved transportation LOSTs in the state and will describe how it can be accessed and used by researchers and practitioners.
Martin Wachs, Founding Director, Institute of Transportation Studies and the University of California Transportation Center
Jeremy Marks, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
Romic Aevaz, Policy Analyst, Eno Center for Transportation
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Martin Wachs is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Civil & Environmental Engineering and of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directed the Institute of Transportation Studies and the University of California Transportation Center. He earlier spent 25 years at UCLA, where he was Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning for eleven years. After retiring from the University, Wachs became the Director of Transportation, Space, and Technology Program at the RAND Corporation. He now conducts research at UCLA in transportation policy. Dr. Wachs served on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for nine years and was the TRB Chairman during the year 2000. Dr. Wachs was Transportation Policy Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, and was appointed by California Governor Pete Wilson to a “Blue Ribbon Commission on California Infrastructure.” He currently serves on a statewide committee created by the legislature to design a new system of road user charges for California and is a member of the Peer Review Group of the California High Speed Rail program.
Jeremy Marks is a recently-awarded Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) —having just completed the two-year Master of Urban Planning program in UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs with a concentration in Transportation Policy and Planning. He is currently a Public Administration Analyst in UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS). While pursuing his Master’s degree in Urban Planning, Jeremy completed an internship with the shared micro-mobility company, Lime, where he led revenue and demand generation efforts and government and community affairs initiatives. Before studying at UCLA, Jeremy worked at the Urban Institute, where he researched national health policy and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He earned a Bachelor’s in Public Policy Analysis (PPA) from Pomona College in 2014.