Santa Clara County voters will decide in November whether they want to pay more property taxes to rebuild their public hospital and a higher sales tax to take the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to San Jose.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority earlier this month asked voters to approve a one-eighth cent sales tax increase to finance a 16-mile, $6 billion expansion of the San Francisco Bay Area’s rapid transit system to the region’s largest city. That’s in addition to a half-cent sales tax they agreed to pay for transit projects in 2000.

The expansion would connect San Jose, a city of almost one million people in the heart of Silicon Valley, to Oakland and San Francisco to the north by 2017. The VTA would build the extension, and it would be operated by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority, which runs the existing 35-year-old mass transit system.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has also asked voters to approve an $840 million general obligation bond measure to rebuild the 272-bed Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in downtown San Jose. The public hospital must be rebuilt to meet California earthquake safety standards.

Both measures require approval of a two-thirds majority of local voters.

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