Chamber Supports Placement of Measure A on November Ballot, Opposes Addition of EV Charge FundingApril 26, 2018
Transportation Authority of Marin
Board of Commissioners
900 Fifth Avenue Suite 100
San Rafael, CA 94901
Re: Measure A Sales Tax Renewal Expenditure Plan
Dear Chair Moulton-Peters and Commissioners:
On behalf of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, which represents 625 Marin County employers with over 26,000 employees, I write to express our support for placing the renewal of Measure A on the November ballot. The Chamber along with several other organizations representing a varied cross section of interests participated on an expenditure plan advisory committee for several months. After many public presentations, committee meetings and hours of discussion, we unanimously approved a plan. However, it has come to the Chamber’s attention that since that time, there have been requests that the plan be modified to accommodate more funds towards implementing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations. The Chamber is opposed to modifying the plan to add more EV charging stations in Measure A.
The Chamber understands that electric vehicles are an emerging market but it will take a while for the market to grow and reach all demographics. While we agree that some public charging stations are important, we also believe that those advantaged enough to drive an electric vehicle in Marin can also charge them overnight where they sleep. Our concern is that if we add them to multi-family homes, they will sit vacant. There are also other funding sources at the state and federal level for EV charging stations; so while local funding is scarce, this sales tax measure should be used for local improvements that have been identified as the most important to all tax payers. The survey results were very clear and relieving traffic congestion was the highest priority. The best way to get people out of their cars is to increase public transit and encourage non-motorized transportation. Asking the tax payer to fund public EV charging stations in Measure A is not the best use of funds and is not equitable.
Technology is rapidly changing and we will all need to be prepared for what is to come with autonomous vehicles. Investing in a large number of charging stations at a time when they will only benefit a few may be a futile exercise. We should be investing now in new road technology, more efficient public transit and school transportation to keep Marin on the move.
Please consider adopting the expenditure plan advisory committee’s recommendations for the renewal of Measure A.
President & CEO, San Rafael Chamber of Commerce
Contact:Joanne Webster, President and CEOjwebster@SRChamber.com, 415 454 4163 x101