AASHTO Journal

California Fuel Tax Repeal Measure Qualifies for November Ballot

A measure to repeal increases made to California's fuel taxes in 2017 qualified to be placed on the Golden State's November election ballot, meaning voters not only get to decide whether to keep or repeal the tax but also whether or not to require voter approval for any future increases to fuel taxes or road-related fees.

The fuel tax roll-back measure, which garnered 585,407 valid signatures and qualified on June 25 to be added to the Nov. 6 ballot, would remove a 12 cent-per-gallon increase in the Golden State's gasoline excise tax as well as a 20 cent-per-gallon increase in the excise tax on diesel fuel. Vehicle registration fee increases implemented in January of this year would also be repealed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper; increases that raised registration costs by $25 to $175, depending on the value of the vehicle.

The Give Voters a Voice advocacy group launched this repeal effort last year after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation known as Senate Bill 1 or "SB 1" that implemented the hikes in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, which are ostensibly aimed at generating more funds for road maintenance and construction needs.

​To date, the California Transportation Commission has allocated $9.2 billion for transportation projects throughout the Golden State as a result of SB 1.

Yet the hikes in taxes and fees remains unpopular. According to a survey conducted in May by the University of Southern California and the L.A. Times newspaper, 51 percent of those voters polled favored the repeal initiative, while only 38 percent supported keeping the higher taxes and fees in place.

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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