SACRAMENTO (CBSLA.com/AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a plan Wednesday to hike gas taxes and vehicle fees to raise more than $52 billion over 10 years to fix California’s roads and bridges in what critics say would be the largest such increase in state history.
The state’s Democratic leaders said Wednesday that they would pay for it with a big increase in the gas tax, higher car registration fees and a $100 charge on emission-free vehicles.
The proposal would boost gasoline excise taxes by 12 cents a gallon, a 43-percent increase. It also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less.
Each California driver spends approximately $700 per year in extra vehicle repairs caused by rough roads, according to Brown’s office, which says if California does not make investments to fix the roads now, it will cost eight times more to replace later.
“This is a good program, it’s the best we could figure out,” Brown said during a press conference on the steps of the California State Capitol building. “And now there’ll be some critics, they’ll say, ‘Oh, it costs money’. Yes, it costs money.
“If the roof in your house is leaking, you better fix it, ’cause it gets worse all the time,” he added.
The proposal also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less.
With four kids to feed this L.A. County mom is worried.
“Just imagine, it’s either we by a gallon of gas, or a gallon of milk,” Myriam Sunderman. “Impossible, give us a break, please.”
The constitutional amendment would require support from two-thirds of lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate because it raises taxes. It also specifies that the money be spent only on transportation projects.
A joint statement from Assembly Republicans blasted Brown’s plan: “Californians already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the nation. The transportation proposal announced by the Capitol Democrats is a costly and burdensome plan that forces ordinary Californians to bail out Sacramento for years of neglecting our roads. This proposal would include the largest gas tax increase in state history, which will continue to rise over time, and a massive increase to the diesel tax and vehicle license fee.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)