Measure U, the half-cent sales tax aimed at repairing and maintaining Richmond’s roads and funding programs such as public safety and health, passed Tuesday, with 53.71-percent voting yes and 46.29-percent voting no.
The measure, which will generate $7 million in its first year, will bring Richmond’s sales tax rate to 9.5-percent. The tax amounts to an average of $2.93 per month per Richmond resident.
City officials say a portion of the revenue generated by Measure U will be used to secure a bond that will allow the city to spend $30 million per year over three years to smooth over the streets.
While Measure U was intended for road repair, council decided to make the measure a general tax in order to avoid the two-thirds voter approval required for a specific-purpose tax.
While Richmond’s streets are currently rated as fair, funding streams to maintain and continue improvements have run dry, Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay had argued when Measure U was initially proposed.