The BART board of directors endorsed Governor Jerry’s Brown’s budget proposal to generate about $6.9 billion in FY 2012-13 for the state’s general fund. Directors formally voted to support the governor’s state proposition that will be on the November General Election ballot.
The proposition is part of a package of actions the governor has proposed to address a $15.7 billion budget shortfall. It will temporarily increase the personal income tax for seven years on income earners making over $250,000 and increase the sales tax by one quarter percent for four years. If the proposition doesn’t pass, $6.1 billion of additional cuts will go into effect on January 1, 2013.
“To maintain safe, reliable service to our growing ridership, we at BART need to be aware of the big budget picture,” BART Board President John McPartland said. “While public transit now gets only a fraction of the state support it did in the past, all items could be on the table for future cuts. In such a budget climate, it will be very difficult to maintain the bare bones transit funding we’re getting now, let alone seeking additional funds to serve a growing transit ridership.”
The board also expressed support for a number of state bills, including AB1971, which focuses on increasing penalties for copper thieves who target transit systems like BART.