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Transportation Sales Tax Still Narrowly Trailing

About 125,000 provisional and vote-by-mail ballots still to be counted.

Bay City News Service—A measure that would double Alameda County's transportation sales tax to a full 1 cent, was still narrowly trailing in updated election results released shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Measure B1 has received 65.6 percent of the vote, but that's short of the 66.6 percent, or two-thirds majority, needed to pass. However, the results could change because about 85,000 vote-by-mail ballots and 40,000 provisional ballots in Alameda County still need to be tabulated. Alameda County Registrar of Voters officials said it will take several more days to count the remaining ballots.

The county's transportation sales tax was first passed in 1986. Measure B1 would make the tax permanent and increase it from a half-cent to a full 1 cent. It would raise money to increase spending on roads, freeways, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements and transit-oriented developments.

Opponents said in their ballot argument that the measure is "a massive tax increase" that would disproportionately harm working families because a greater percentage of their income goes to sales taxes.

Measure A1, a countywide measure to raise funds for the Oakland Zoo, also remains slightly short of the two-thirds margin it needs for approval. The latest results show 62.75 percent of voters for it and 37.25 percent against. Measure A1 would generate $112 million over a 25-year period to pay for the basic needs and care of zoo animals, facility upgrades, staff, education programs and field trips.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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