Late last night after weeks of active negotiations, the Legislature sent Governor Brown the Transportation package he has been asking for. The package was a controversial hot potato for some legislators because raising taxes on cars and gasoline is about one of the most unpopular things a politician can do (just ask former Governor Gray Davis, recalled, mainly over the “car tax” issue) so the negotiations and “horse trading” for votes went late into the night.
Much of the controversy stems from the fact that the package contains the largest gas tax increase in California history. This is a regressive tax that directly hits individual citizens and businesses. The measure is projected to generate $5.2 billion annual and taxes are increased on both gasoline and diesel fuel. Starting in three years, purchasers of new electric vehicles will pay a $100 yearly fee. Finally, a new annual vehicle fee that varies based on the value of the car was also adopted.
The package dedicates funds to a wide variety of projects focused on existing infrastructure as well as new projects related to mass transit.
Click here for a comprehensive story about the politics and the provisions of the measure.
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