Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Gas tax funds $52 billion California road plan

Gas tax funds $52 billion California road plan Gas tax funds $52 billion California road plan
Jeannie Matthews | 31 March, 2017, 02:03

Governor Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats say they will go forward with a road and highway fix plan that will raise taxes on gasoline by about 12 cents a gallon and 20 cents a gallon on diesel, along with a sales tax increase of over 5 percent on diesel.

The trucking company owners also said they wanted guarantees that the funds raised through these increased taxes and fees would not be raided to close general budget shortfalls.

The proposal, which was announced Wednesday, would raise gas and diesel taxes, charge a $100 annual fee for electric and hybrid cars.

Update 1:15 p.m.: Under the deal, much of the roughly $5 billion/year in new revenue over the initial decade would be split between state and local transportation agencies for road repairs and maintenance.

The plan also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less. Backers say the plan would cost most drivers less than $10 a month.

An increase in the diesel sales tax would raise $3.5 billion over 10 years.

He has set an April 6 goal for the Legislature to pass a transportation funding package before lawmakers leave for a spring recess. The California Chamber of Commerce supports new revenue to fix and maintain our roads and bridges and to reduce traffic congestion.

"This is the largest gas tax increase in California history".

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Californians drive more than 350 billion miles a year, more than any other state, yet road and transit investments have not kept pace with growth. "Sacramento already has the money to fix our roads, but Governor Brown, Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, and Speaker Anthony Rendon today announced they would rather raise new taxes on the backs of small businesses and working families". The governor and Democratic legislative leaders hope to rush it through the Legislature next week.

A constitutional amendment would require that the money be spent only on transportation projects.

It's the third time Brown has attempted to address the multibillion-dollar backlog in transportation repairs and upgrades through tax increases. Brown will need almost all of them unless he can pick up support from Republicans.

The Democratic governor and top legislative leaders hit the road Thursday to pressure two moderate Democrats in Concord who will cast decisive votes on a major piece of Brown's legacy.

The proposal would invest $52 billion in transportation projects over the next decade.

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said the state has plenty of money that could be redirected to transportation funding without raising more money from residents who already pay some of the nation's highest state-level taxes.

"When Californians go to the gas station, we expect every penny of the gas tax that we pay to go to roads".

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