Pain At The Pump: Gas Tax To Become 2018 CA Campaign Issue

When motorists across California go to the pump this week, they will no doubt raise their eyebrows.

The price of gas just spiked for California drivers.

Never a group to shy away from raising taxes, the Sacramento legislature earlier this year, voted to tax a gallon of gas an additional 12 cents.

That vote has caused a war of words between Democrats who supported the measure, and Republicans who said no thanks.

GAS TAX SPURS RECALL CAMPAIGN

The increase has triggered a recall campaign.

Sponsored by former San Diego City Councilman turned radio talk show host Carl Demaio, the  campaign is focused on Orange County State Senator Josh Newman. Demaio, the Chairman of Reform California said, “Sacramento politicians really crossed the line with these massive car and gas tax hikes and we intend to give taxpayers the chance to reverse that decision with this initiative.” DeMaio said Newman was the deciding vote for passage of the gas tax.

In addition to the recall effort targeting the Senator, Demaio is also working to completely roll back the car and gas tax. His group needs to collect 585,407 signatures of California voters to force the measure onto the November 2018 ballot. DeMaio believes voters will repeal the gas tax as the  initiative becomes the defining issue in all California races in 2018.

CALTRANS SUPPORTS THE GAS TAX

Caltrans says funding generated from the gas tax and vehicle fees will expedite the state’s infrastructure upgrade efforts. CALTRANS says 1,200 miles of roads and 66 bridges, including some local projects will be repaired thanks to the tax.

“Years of unfunded maintenance needs have plagued our roadways; Caltrans is expediting projects with the expectation of SB 1 funds coming in November,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in a statement last week. “We are lining up projects that are going to deliver real results for all users of the state transportation system.”

MORE MONEY FOR SACRAMENTO

The increases approved by the Democrat-dominated Legislature will help raise more than $5.2 billion annually.  Elected officials say the state has a backlog of $130 billion in repair and replacement projects for its transportation system.