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Prop 6 “Gas Tax”: A Balancing Act

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Prop 6 “Gas Tax”: A Balancing Act

Marissa Chavez, Contributing Writer

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This November Californians will decide whether to repeal the gas tax initiative signed into law last year.

 

Proposition 6 is a response to the “Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017”—which gave the State the authority to increase gas taxes and vehicle fees with a two-thirds vote, restricting voter approval. Over time, approximately $5.4 billion dollars will be allocated to transportation revenue.

 

If the ballot measure is approved, The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 would be repealed, defunding an estimated $52.4 billion within the next decade according to the California Legislative Bill.

 

“Californians need the safer streets and highways, more affordable transportation, and good-paying careers that come with investing in the future of our infrastructure…if SB1 is repealed, that would devastate our ability to fix our roads… making traffic worse, polluting our air, and eliminating thousands of jobs that build up our middle class,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote to the UT.

 

This is the first gas tax California has changed in 20 years according to the California Department of Transportation.

 

You may have noticed the increase in gas prices by 12 cents a gallon and the vehicle registration fees jump to as much as $175 within the past year, as stated in the California General Election Guide. Under the current gas law, rates will continue to rise in yearly increments, meaning gas prices will be over $2 more per gallon by 2021—that’s 40 dollars more when filling your tank.

 

Local supporters of the act to repeal the measure include the South Los Angeles Inglewood Republican Assembly. SLAIRA urges citizens to vote ‘Yes’ on Prop 6 since the cost of living in California is already too high.

 

“This gas tax hike will cost a typical California family roughly $779.28 more per year…if we fail to pass Prop 6 it would allow the state Legislature to continue to impose, increase, and/or extend fuel taxes or vehicle fees,” Keith McCowen, Vice President of the Assembly told the UT. He stressed that the gas tax will affect low income households and working families the most.

Many South LA residents interviewed agreed that they want the roads fixed but expressed concerns about the extra fees being diverted to other State projects.

Caltrans Public Information Officer Angela Daprado affirmed that every dollar is put to good use, not just to road repairs but to maintenance, transit projects, the freight movement, freeways and more.

“With this new revenue there is a stable gauge for inflation—unlike in the past. The gas tax law was a huge game changer in terms of what we are able to accomplish on the roadways and how fast,” said Daprado.

The decision on Proposition 6 comes down to saving money instantly at the pump or fixing transit roads and potentially unclogging congested highways.

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