An effort to repeal an increase in gasoline taxes in California kicked off Monday afternoon, with supporters saying the hike overburdens motorists while critics say a reversal would blunt a $52 billion effort to shore up the state’s roads and bridges.
At the beginning of this month, the first iteration of Senate Bill 1 or the Road Repair and Accountability Act started to go into effect, raising the state excise taxes on gasoline by 12 cents to 41.3 cents a gallon. By the time the legislation is fully in force in July 2019, that number will climb to 47.3 cents per gallon.
“We need to stop the car and gas tax hikes because, number one, it’s hurting working families,” said Carl DeMaio, a former member of the San Diego City Council and now a talk radio host who has helped spearhead the repeal. “Secondly, the money is being diverted time and time again from road repairs and road expansion to any special interest project the politicians have.”
To be placed on a statewide ballot in November 2018, the petition needs 585,407 signatures from registered voters by March.
The tax hike is expected to raise $5.2 billion a year over the next decade.
Vehicle registration fees will also go up between $25 to $175 per year, depending on the value of the car. The tax also establishes a $100 annual registration fee for zero-emission vehicles, starting in July 2020.