Home > US News, USA > California Citizens Have ENOUGH, Effort In Place As Governor Brown’s Law Challenged

California Citizens Have ENOUGH, Effort In Place As Governor Brown’s Law Challenged

The state of California just recently raised taxes on gasoline and vehicle ownership, and the citizens have had enough. The measure is supposedly going to help with infrastructure projects.

The statewide excise tax on gasoline and diesel increased by 12 cents per gallon. The new taxes were created in addition to a transportation improvement fee. The annual transportation improvement fee is based on the value of a vehicle.

The new taxes on diesel fuel will be significant. The hardest hit will be the small business owner. Independent contractors who drive their own trucks or drive a rented or leased truck will now take home less money. Despite this, the California Trucking Association supported the transportation bill. The tax increases were part of bill SB1. It was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in April.

“This bill will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for poor people who need work and it will stimulate the economy. For me, this is a wise plan that’s a modest plan,” said Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, who introduced the bill. On top of the new taxes, the bill also institutes a new vehicle license fee. Starting Jan. 1, California residents will also pay a $100 annual vehicle registration fee on zero-emission vehicles starting with model year 2020.

Democrats have promised the bill will raise about $5 billion a year, with the proceeds mostly going to fund state and local transportation projects. According to the bill’s supporters, the projects covered under the bill range from fixing potholes to promoting bicycling. There are even measures aimed at reducing congestion on major highways.

Despite what the Democrats promise, numerous Republicans and anti-tax groups are trying to overturn the increase in taxes. As of now, CA voters don’t have a say in the passage of certain bills, like SB-1. To combat this problem, the Republicans have introduced a proposal that would require any increase in car, gasoline or fuel taxes to be approved by voters. The mandate would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017.

Republican lawmakers also criticized the bill for putting a financial burden on the citizens of California. State Republicans claim the blame lies with Legislature for its failure to prioritize spending on roads without raising taxes. Californians already pay more for gas because of taxes. The average price statewide is $3.03 per gallon, compared to the current national average of $2.46 cents.

“We definitely need to fix the infrastructure, the paving, potholes and bridges and bottlenecks that affect transportation around the Port of Oakland. We have been kicking the can down the road for a number of years. We need to pay our fair share. We hope to gain back some efficiencies by increasing the life of the road networks,” said Robert Ramorino, president of RoadStar Trucking.

Most trucking companies, according to Ramorino, add a fuel surcharge to shipments. This increases the cost to transportation companies, their customers, and ultimately end users.

Interestingly enough, the state of California’s revenue has increased annually by $36 billion for the last six years. However, none of those funds have gone to roads. Republican Travis Allen believes that the state’s history of mismanaging money will prevail, and very little of the increased taxes collected will go to infrastructure.

“This new gas tax does not increase (road) capacity anywhere in the state. It will build no new lanes of freeways. If Californians didn’t like their traffic before, they’re going to like it even less when they’re stuck in the exact same traffic and paying more for their gas,” Allen said in a campaign article published earlier this year.

Additionally, it seems the state’s SB1 law is about state-wide taxation more than its’a about any real initiative to fix infrastructure. UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies recently conducted a poll about government spending and the tax increases from SB-1. It’s results suggest that over half of voters in the state would support repealing the new gas tax.

And the increases haven’t been fully realized yet. Gas is often less expensive in the winter than in the summer. Once the tax increases have been felt by Californians, there’s a strong chance many voters will support a Republican-sponsored bill that would allow voters to decide the fate of similar legislation.

This current tax increase was instituted without a vote from citizens. There’s a good chance, however, that repealing the bill will be on the ballot.

“The more Californians are finding out about this gas tax and how little it’s actually going to do for our roads, the more outraged they become. The bottom line is, it’s not gonna do anything to get us out of the worst in the nation traffic,” said Travis Allen, a Republican assemblyman running for governor.

This isn’t the first time this year the state has enacted some odd laws. The state of California spent most of 2017 passing questionable legislation.

During this past year, the state reduced the criminal ramifications of an HIV-infected individual knowingly passing the disease to someone else.

California has also passed laws restricting ownership of ammunition, laws that allow for child prositution, and a new law that allows for low-level felons to vote. (And everyone knows which party the felons will vote for.)

This law is just another in a stream of Democrat-sponsored legislative trash that will almost insure the party’s hold over the state for years to come.

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