ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley commented on the latest Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board meeting, where the Board received reports on the performance of Orange County’s half cent sales tax measure reaching its highest levels ever in Fiscal Year 2022-23, market reports on our local and national economies, and approval of new transparency measures for the agency. Together, these actions reflect OCTA’s ability on delivering transportation promises to Orange County taxpayers.
Supervisor Foley released the following statements highlighting the votes by the OCTA Board of Directors from the October 9, 2023 meeting:
2023 Economic Forecast: Received update on the performance of Orange County’s half cent sales tax measure (Measure M2) for Fiscal Year 2022-23 and a forecast for the program over the next 30 years. Sales tax receipts for Measure M2 in FY 2022-23 totaled $439 million.
“Despite challenges, Orange County’s economy continues to defy odds and break records, allowing OCTA to remain solvent and well positioned to deliver on the promises in Measure M2,” said Supervisor Foley. “Orange County’s economy delivered Measure M2 a 3.35% increase in sales tax over the previous year, the highest amount of sales tax on record.”
Transportation Market Key Indicators and Forecast: Received update on trends in construction market conditions, a key factor that determines the price and ability of OCTA to deliver infrastructure improvements. The forecast reported a gradual decline in inflation from Spring 2023 and forecasted a potential return to a normal inflationary environment in 2024 and a low inflationary environment in 2025 & 2026.
“If you care about building housing, transportation improvements, or maintaining our existing infrastructure, the price of construction commodities matters,” said Supervisor Foley. “I am relieved that the bulk of the transportation economic indicators reflect a cooling of the inflationary pressures. We need to proceed with cautious optimism as the global market remains uncertain, with international events disrupting the economy, but we look forward to continuing to build a better Orange County.”
Measure M2 Audit: Approved annual compliance audits for Measure M2 starting in Fiscal Year 2024. Measure M2 is transportation investment plan approved by Orange County voters in 2006 that funds projects, programs, and services through 2041. With these additional audit functions, OCTA commits itself to greater transparency on delivering its promises to voters.
“After 32 years, it’s important we get another look and a deeper dive on Orange County’s transportation sales tax programs,” said Supervisor Foley. “When I served as a member of the original M2 formation committee, we promised the taxpayers the accountability of a comprehensive compliance audit. It’s past time to deliver on this promise.”
“This was a big win for taxpayers - thank you to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board for unanimously voting to fund a compliance audit of Measure M2. It was a great collaborative effort with the OCTA Board of Directors, fellow members of the Taxpayer Oversight Committee and OCTA staff,” said Orange County Auditor-Controller Andrew Hamilton.
2024 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Update: Approved submittal of nine projects to the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) that will be pursued from fiscal year 2024-25 through 2028-29. If approved, STIP will provide more than $100 million to projects in the Fifth District, including updates to the SR-73 and widening of Ortega Highway from Calle Entradero to Reata Road.
“We continue to invest in south Orange County's transportation infrastructure and cut down travel costs for residents,” said Supervisor Foley. “Securing this funding allows people to spend less time on the road and more time enjoying their lives.”
Regional Transportation Plan Update: Received an update on the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategies, also known as Connect SoCal, a long-range plan that will outline more than $638 billion in transportation investments through 2045. One goal of these investments is to successfully addresses the regional greenhouse gas reduction target of 19% per capita by 2035.
“Connect SoCal charts a path towards a better connected, sustainable, and prosperous region,” said Supervisor Foley. “Orange County must make smart transportation decisions and investments if we want to increase regional mobility and meet our climate goals.”
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.