Gas tax, vehicle fees would rise under California road plan

Posted March 31, 2017

The funding package also calls for a hike of 12 cents in the excise tax for gasoline to 39.5 cents a gallon, raising roughly $2.4 billion a year, and $1.6 billion a year would be raised through a new "transportation improvement fee" apparently tied to annual vehicle registrations.

The governor and legislature barreled ahead with their tax and vehicle registration fee increase proposal for road fix with little compromise that would use more now collected revenues for the roads.

For the first time, the drivers of zero-emissions vehicles would have to pay an annual $100 fee starting in 2020.

In the Bay Area trying to build support for his $5.2 billion road-funding package, Brown acknowledged Thursday that convincing the Legislature to raise fees and taxes on motorists was more akin to feeding them green vegetables than sweet confections. This so-called plan is the latest assault on working class people the Democrats claim to represent and will make many hard-working Californians, including our seniors, choose between food and gas or medicine and gas.” Stone said.

Sources tell Capital Public Radio the package includes gas and diesel tax increases and a new vehicle fee.

According to Brown, the $5 billion-a-year program will cost most drivers less than $10 a month and will be funded, in part, by a gas tax. They're expected to vote on the legislation April 6. The Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Act (AB 496) fixes our roads with existing money that motorists are already paying - no new taxes or fees. It also specifies that the money be spent only on transportation projects.

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The governor was flanked by a sea of orange-vest-clad construction workers and more formally dressed politicians, including state Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount (Los Angeles County).

"If we don't do it, the roads will crumble", he added.

Critics have long complained that money raised by transportation taxes has been siphoned off for other uses, something the constitutional amendment is created to prevent.

It's the third time Brown has attempted to address the multibillion-dollar backlog in transportation repairs and upgrades through tax increases. Groups like the California Chamber of Commerce, which has been involved in negotiations with the governor and legislature over improving infrastructure to help boost the economy, came out in support. Brown will need almost all of them unless he can pick up support from Republicans, who have opposed raising taxes to pay for road construction.

A number of Assembly Democrats eked out wins in the November election and could be vulnerable in the next campaign if they vote to raise taxes. It is projected to raise $16.3 billion.

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