FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- UPDATE:
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors is delaying a vote on Measure C after several community leaders made a push to put a pause on its renewal.
The original story follows below.
Several community leaders and young people in Fresno County are pushing for a pause on renewing Measure C.
The half-cent transportation sales tax measure is estimated to cost $7 billion.
The Board of Supervisors could vote as soon as Tuesday to decide if it will go on the November ballot.
Measure C is not set to expire until 2027, and community advocates are asking to be more involved in the planning and to hold off on a ballot measure until 2024.
"The plan as proposed is full of potholes, it is riddled with loopholes, it failed to meaningfully include community leaders from throughout Fresno County to help shape a plan," explained Veronica Garibay, Co-Executive Director of Leadership Counsel For Justice and Accountability.
Measure C is a countywide half-cent sales tax that has been in place for over 30 years. On Tuesday the Fresno County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on whether to put the transportation tax on the November ballot, potentially extending it through the year 2057.
"Is adding more freeway lanes and improving on-ramps the only way to reduce congestion? We have not prioritized the needs of those residents who face transportation burdens," said Marianne Kast, the president of League of Women Voters.
The group that gathered Monday is asking the board to wait until 2024 to put the measure on the ballot, giving local organizations more time to offer input on how tax dollars will be spent.
But the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA) says stakeholders from across the county have participated in a public process over the last 18 months.
The FCTA also argues the current plan would allow the community to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal matching funds that would otherwise go to other counties.
"I would challenge why not 2022... If we go in 2022, and we are successful, we don't have to wait until 2027 to get started on that, we can actually bond revenues now," explained Mike Leonardo, Executive Director with the Fresno County Transportation Authority.
The Board of Supervisors could vote to postpone the decision during Tuesday's meeting, but they must give it the green light on or before August 12th for the measure to be placed on the November ballot.