On January 4, 2013 the City Councilmembers Englander and Buscaino introduced a motion to put a $3 billion street repair bond on the May ballot. After hearing complaints from the community about insufficient time for them to comment on the proposal, the councilmen have withdrawn the proposal from the May ballot, but are working with the community to seek feedback and add it to another future ballot.
The purpose of the bond is to fund 8,700 lane-miles of damaged streets over the next ten years. The city is not currently budgeted for the estimated $300 million annual cost to fix 8,700 lane-miles of damaged streets. On the contrary, the city budget for the current fiscal year is running a deficit and legislators will be focused on closing an estimated $216 million budget gap for the fiscal year that starts in July. A voter approved bond is seen as the only way to bring streets up to speed in the next ten years. Hidden costs of not approving a bond include reduced property values and increased car repair.
If the bond is approved, the first year’s cost is estimated to be an additional $24 in property taxes by the owner of a $350,000 home. It would increase to a peak of about $120 a year.