BY PAUL C. H. VELASCO
CURRENT AFFAIRS EDITOR
The gas tax increase bill may have unintended consequences on how much Californians have to pay at the gas station.
Democrats including Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles and Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Moreno Valley, in California’s state senate the Senate 1 bill they named Road Repair and Accountability Act. The expected increases in the bill would be 20-cent per gallon increase in diesel taxes, a 12-cent per gallon hike in gas taxes and a 5.75 percent increase in diesel sales taxes. There will also be a jump in vehicle license fees. This Senate 1 bill will generate $52.4 billion dollars over 10 years. The bill also includes:
- Raise $52 billion over 10 years to maintain the state’s transportation infrastructure
- The gasoline excise tax would rise 43 percent, or by 12 cents per gallon, generating an estimated $24.4 billion in revenue.
- The diesel tax would climb 125 percent, by 20 cents per gallon. This increase would add another $7.3 billion.
- The diesel sales tax would rise 5.75 percent and raise $3.5 billion.
- A vehicle fee, similar to what owners currently pay the Department of Motor Vehicles annually, would raise $16.3 billion.
- Zero-emission vehicles would have to pay a $100 annual fee for road maintenance beginning in 2020. The bill’s authors project those fees could raise $200 million.
- The bill would amend California’s constitution to require that these revenues be spent on transportation projects
There might be an additional five percent increase in cities like San Diego on top of what is already in the bill.
The increase in gas taxes may add to the increases in fuel prices from the state’s cap-and-trade system. Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) warned that drivers could see higher prices at the pump from the state’s cap-and-trade system, which “requires polluters…to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”
The bill is expected to take effect November of this year.