At the July 17, 2012 Orinda City Council meeting a ten year road plan was adopted. This plan is designed to bring Orinda roads up to an aggregate Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of 70 which is considered "good".
The key to the plan is raising new taxes to rehabilitate Orinda's 58 miles of substandard roads. The specific taxes include
2012 - a 1/2 cent sales tax expiring in 2022
2017 - a $20 million bond
2021 - a second $20 million bond
The sales tax is going to be a "general" tax, not dedicated to roads but the proceeds of which the Council pledges will be used for roads. By not legally committing the funds for roads allows the tax to be passed by a simple 50 percent majority as opposed to a 2/3 majority. In the 2012 Orinda Road Survey, 61 percent said they would be willing to vote for a 1/2 cent sales tax if it was to be used for roads.
The bond measures would be dedicated to roads and thus they would require a 2/3 majority vote. Assuming a 5% interest rate and a 30 year repayment term, a $20 million bond would cost $1.3 million per year to pay off. That equates to $200 per household.
In the 2012 Orinda Road Survey, 63 percent said they would support such a bond when asked before they were asked about a sales tax but only 48 percent said they would support the bond after they had been presented the idea of a sales tax. The acceptance of a sales tax and a bond was not tested.
When questioned about a $200 parcel tax, only 46 percent would support that level. (It is possible that 63 percent said they would support a $20 million bond without realizing that it would cost each householld $200 per year)
The acceptance of a $20 million bond (or $200 parcel tax) followed by a second equvalent tax four years later was not specifically explored by the survey although 57% said they would rather be asked to solve 1/3 the problem now and the rest later while 32% said "solve it now".