LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — State lawmakers in Sacramento are set to consider a tax increase on gas and hybrid vehicles.
Senate Bill 16 would hike the current state tax by 10 cents a gallon, which would mark the first gas tax increase since the early 1990s.
Annual car registration fees for all vehicles would also go up by $35 and zero-emission cars would be subject to a $100 annual fee.
The proposed gas tax is expected to bring in a total of $15 billion over five years, just a fraction of the estimated $60 billion currently needed to fix California’s roads.
State Senator Bob Huff of Brea, who serves as the California Senate Republican leader, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO he remains opposed to much of the proposed legislation, but would be willing to consider supporting an increase on hybrid vehicles.
“I think everybody recognizes we have a problem, these guys are using the roads and paying nothing for road repairs,” said Huff.
But Democrats in Sacramento such as State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) are framing the debate in much starker terms.
“Californians get that we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, that the health of the planet is dependent upon it,” he said.
Motorists such as Jon Vroliks, meanwhile, are left without a choice.
“I just don’t understand how they can keep raising it, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Vroliks said. “It’s really hurtful for my business.”
Democrats are expected to propose raising taxes to solve the issues, while Republicans will counter with demands the money be used only for those issues and not be put into the general fund.
Governor Jerry Brown has called for two special sessions starting Monday.