July 13, 2018
California road improvement and maintenance projects slated to receive funding through a new gas tax would likely evaporate, should a November ballot measure pass. The initiative seeks to repeal Senate Bill 1, which was passed last year.
If approved, it would effectively stop new fees from being collected, and it would be retroactive to the beginning of 2017.
State and local transportation agencies indicate they’ll attempt to push through all active projects, though projects not yet having started construction would have to be canceled, downsized or delayed indefinitely.
Proponents of the initiative believe California already has enough money for road repairs. They argue a tax increase is unnecessary and wasteful, mainly because they say the state spends existing gas tax revenue unwisely on public transportation programs or government salaries rather than directly on road construction.
California has gone 23 years without a gas tax increase, though Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers envisioned raising $5.4 billion annually over the next decade as a way to fill an estimated $130-billion backlog in needed repairs and improvements.
Under the new law, the base excise tax on gasoline was increased by 12 cents per gallon, and the base excise tax for diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon, as well as the creation of an annual $25 to $175 vehicle registration fee.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser