Senate panel votes to raise California gas tax 12 cents a gallon

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Because 42.35 cents per gallon just isn’t enough for greedy lawmakers.

From Mercury News: State lawmakers on Wednesday took the first steps toward raising taxes and fees on motorists and further restricting Californians’ tobacco use as the Legislature convened special sessions aimed at solving the state’s transportation and health care funding crises.

Members of a Senate committee tackling a huge backlog of roadway maintenance endorsed legislation that would generate $4 billion annually for repairs by increasing the gas tax 12 cents a gallon and boosting annual vehicle registration fees $35 for most cars. Fees for all-electric vehicles would go up $100.

Another panel approved bills to hike the legal smoking age to 21, regulate e-cigarettes and allow counties to place local tobacco taxes on the ballot.

While significant, the party-line votes taken by the committees were merely an opening salvo in a battle between Democrats and Republicans that will play out over the next few weeks about the fairness of fixing California’s crumbling roads and improving health care for the poor by imposing new taxes.

“We don’t want to dump the cost of our horribly maintained infrastructure on the next generation — it will be too late to solve the problem if we delay,” said Sen. Jim Beall, D-Campbell, whose transportation tax bill passed the committee 9-2, with all the yes votes coming from Democrats. The two no votes came from Republicans; two other Republicans abstained.

Because tax and fee increases require the support of two-thirds of lawmakers in both houses of the Legislature, Democrats seeking to raise taxes will need help from their GOP colleagues, some of whom have indicated they’re open to hiking the gas tax for the first time in more than two decades — as long as the money is restricted to transportation improvements.

Speaking Wednesday at a news conference at the seaport in Oakland, Gov. Jerry Brown urged bipartisan cooperation in repairing the state’s roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure — yet studiously avoided saying how he wants to do it.

He wouldn’t say whether he supports Democratic moves to raise gas taxes or vehicle registration fees. And he wouldn’t say whether he supports Republican moves to cut jobs from Caltrans or to siphon money from the state’s high-speed rail and cap-and-trade greenhouse gas reduction programs.

“My approach to bringing people together is not to prematurely close the door,” Brown said. “I’m not going to put all my cards on the table this morning. This is a big challenge. How we’re going to get to the end of it isn’t exactly clear this morning.

But he said he didn’t know how things would work out years ago when he delved into California’s water infrastructure bond or closing the state’s yawning budget deficit. Yet both ended up getting done with bipartisan support, he noted. “I’m staying above the fray here,” he said. “What you’re getting here is the opening chapter in a longer novel.”

Current revenue from California’s 42.35-cent gas tax covers only a fraction of the state’s annual highway repair needs.

Last week, business organizations such as the California Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group said any deal should seek to raise at least $6 billion annually by raising gas and diesel taxes and increasing vehicle registration and license fees.

Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, said the world envies this region’s thriving economy, but “we can’t take it for granted” because the momentum is being threatened by inadequate infrastructure and housing. Taxes are unpopular, he agreed, but the major companies that are his organization’s members support whatever measures are needed to play catch-up after years of deferred maintenance.

Wunderman’s group on Wednesday proposed indefinitely extending the quarter-cent sales tax portion of Proposition 30, the 2012 measure that Brown championed to pay for the state’s once-cash-strapped schools, and dedicating all the revenue to transportation needs. Reauthorizing the tax hike, now scheduled to expire in 2016, would provide about $1.5 billion a year for road repair.

Read the rest of the story here.


21 responses to “Senate panel votes to raise California gas tax 12 cents a gallon

  1. The exodus will pick up steam. The cost of a U-Haul truck cost more than double going out of California than a U-Haul coming in. This is a prime example of “Supply and Demand” at work.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Where will they go? No one else wants them!

      This has happened elsewhere, and as a specific example, see New Hampshire… When I lived there – grew up there – left in 1998, it was just starting to really “feel” the problem it now has. In the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, New Hampshire was a very conservative state [state motto used to be: “Live Free or Die”]. In the 90’s the little southern towns and the City of Nashua were “blessed” with an influx of MA residents who moved across the border because their state had such high taxes. Did they leave their high taxes and liberal / progressive ways in MA? No! They insisted on bringing the same horrendous liberal / progressive ways with them to NH!! What was once a nice conservative state is now just the opposite. The very same will happen with all the fruits and nuts who leave CA. It won’t be enough that their ways have destroyed CA. Nope. They’ll insist on making whatever states they relocate to the same that they are leaving. You get what you vote for. And just look at what CA [NY, a few others] have voted for?! Now they want to leave? No. Not fair to the rest of us who do not agree with the liberal / progressive “fruits and nuts” policies that have been championed for so long. Unless those leaving can prove they are conservative – voting records, something – they need to stay! By force, or otherwise…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an abuse to those that depend on transportation to earn a living, truck drivers, buses, cab drivers and needless to say, the public that needs to go to work and back. Believe me it will trickle down to the rest of the states, Ask South Floridians, we get hit with whatever the weasels concoct in their backyard outings.

    Liked by 4 people

    • State Law in Ca. is that even trucks who only DELIVER to Ca.,only in their State for ONE DAY,can’t go in unless THEY pass Ca. Smog tests. I have friends who can’t deliver to Sacramento because their truck doesn’t qualify for the Ca. Smog Certificate (2 years too old)-how crazy is THAT?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It is time to IMPEACH THE COMMUNIST GOVERNOR BROWN and his COHORTS my feelings are YUK FOO to the B* who think they can steal our money at the stroke of their pen

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “We don’t want to dump the cost of our horribly maintained infrastructure on the next generation — it will be too late to solve the problem if we delay,”
    Sorry-it was probably too late 8 Generations ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wait till the “POOR” and non auto owners find out the cost of public transportation will also go UP because of the new taxes on gasoline. The new tax will affect the cost of gas to the public transportation IE: Taxi’s, bus’s, trains etc and they will pass the rise in cost onto the riders!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. ManCavePatriot

    Father Jerry will allocate these proceeds to build a wall along their border ‘to keep people in’.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I expect nothing less from a full-time state legislature trying to stay relevant and make sure they, and their corporate interests, get paid.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Breakdown of the plan…

    Gas tax hike to take effect in November in California

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Our only two gasolines on Vancouver Island are Shell or BP; both are sold under all brand names. Of course the brand price is the same per LITER, C$1.28.9, so multiply X 3.78 to see what we pay for 1 US gallon at the REGULAR pump, the blend that’s now contaminated with 10% ethanol. If you DON’T want the ethanol, you can buy Premium at C$1.56.9/liter!

    Now you know why there are so many Canucks buying gasoline at Point Roberts or Blaine, WA on Fridays & Sunday afternoons.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. They just passed legislation here in Indiana to raise it 10 cents too. Meanwhile, they propose making more highways into toll roads.

    Liked by 2 people

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