A Local Funding Source

“To keep Placer County moving, we’ll need to invest at least $3.5 billion in transportation improvements during the next 30 years.”

~ Celia McAdam, Executive Director, Placer County Transportation Planning Agency

A Unique and Special Way of Life

The quality of life we enjoy in Placer County is unmatched anywhere in the state — from our suburban cities and foothill towns to historic Sierra Nevada communities.

Our freeways and roads connect us to every corner of the county. They enable our economy to grow, and are vital to creating new businesses and jobs. Unemployment in Placer County is among the lowest in the state.

It’s not just our economy growing, but our population too. Over the next 30 years, Placer County’s population is expected to increase by 25 percent.

Traffic Congestion, Potholes, and Deteriorating Roads Threaten to Slow Us Down

As the county grows, our freeways and roads get more congested — robbing residents of time with their families and making travel less safe. At the same time, our aging streets and roads require more maintenance — from fixing potholes to resurfacing streets.


Dwindling Sources of Transportation Funding

Gas Tax

The state and federal gas tax provide less than half the funding needed just to maintain current roads — there is no money for new transportation projects.

The gas tax is a declining revenue stream that has one-third the purchasing power it did 20 years ago due to inflation and increased fuel efficiency.

Matching Funds

Funding from state and federal sources are a declining source of revenue for local transportation needs.

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is going bankrupt, while the state is taking even more control of what little money it has for transportation projects. What’s more, the state’s priorities are often not in alignment with Placer County’s suburban and rural lifestyles.

Development Fees

Development fees are one of the few areas local government controls. Placer County has established strong programs to ensure new development pays for its share of the cost of new roads and freeways.

In Placer County, developers will be required to pay nearly $700 million in the coming years — currently the largest source of revenue for our transportation network.


Placer County is one of the largest counties in the state with no local source of transportation funding.

Currently, 85% of Californians live in counties with a local transportation sales tax. These taxes account for more than 60% of the funds spent on transportation projects in California over the last 20 years.

A Local Funding Source

PCTPA has researched various local funding strategies including high occupancy toll lanes, toll roads and a transportation sales tax. An analysis of toll lanes and roads found they would cost more to operate than the revenue they would generate.

Alternatively, a local transportation sales tax is the primary means of local funding authorized in state law. PCTPA’s Transportation Investment Plan is funded by a half percent local transportation sales tax that would expire no later than 30 years from now.

PCTPA’s Transportation Investment Plan also contains state law requirements and the best practices from other counties that have adopted local transportation taxes, including:

  • The funds must stay local, are controlled by local elected officials and cannot be raided by the state or federal government.
  • Such a tax is required to be tied to a specific transportation expenditure plan — that is, a specific list of projects on which the funds must be spent.
  • The plan and the tax must be approved by the voters with a 2/3 majority vote.
  • The spending plan cannot be changed without going back to the voters.
  • The plan includes strong taxpayer safeguards including an oversight committee with independent audits and an annual report to the taxpayers.

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