Brown gets new gas tax through

At the end of a tumultuous road, a wheeling and dealing Gov. Jerry Brown secured passage of a high-stakes new gas tax raising over $50 billion in ten years.

“The California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 on Thursday night, raising gas taxes and vehicle fees in hopes of generating tens of billions of dollars to fix the state’s roads,” the Desert Sun reported. “The tax increases will take effect November 1 and new vehicle registration fees will begin Jan. 1, 2018. Fees on zero-emission vehicles will take effect July 1, 2020, according to the text of the bill.”

“Gov. Jerry Brown, who stumped for the bill in Riverside this week, said its language had been in the works for years. It squeaked through the Senate and Assembly on Thursday night, barely earning the required two-thirds votes in both houses.”

Getting to yes

To get there, Brown resorted to an uncommon amount of bargaining in close negotiations. “It wasn’t the sort of vote any politician likes to cast. So the measure’s success on Thursday relied on a collection of eleventh-hour sweeteners offered by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders to reach the necessary two-thirds super-majority,” the Sacramento Bee observed. “Now that the dust has settled, it’s clear they doled out nearly $1 billion in district-specific transportation projects, with a popular commuter train system linking the valley and Bay Area headed to new locales. It also appears architects could get legal indemnity in construction lawsuits, and four Riverside County cities could see a budget boost. […] Rumors of other SB 1 vote-getting arrangements lingered in the Capitol this week.”

In risking criticism, Brown signaled a sharp judgment that last week’s deal was the best — perhaps the only — shot at getting a substantial tax-funded infrastructure package passed into law. “Similar proposals have languished for years, but Brown and legislative leaders set a quick-turn April 6 deadline for action, hoping to pressure a compromise before the Legislature’s spring break — ahead of big debates to come in 2017 on the state budget and hundreds of bills,” according to the San Francisco Examiner. “The side deals, which still require legislative approval, showed up in two changes to the budget bill language, with most of it made public at 4 a.m. on the day of the vote.”

Costly neglect

One reason for Brown’s sense of urgency was familiar to residents across the state: California has fallen woefully behind on infrastructure repairs and improvements. “Most of the money, about $33.7 billion, will pay for a backlog of infrastructure repair projects that has grown to $130 billion,” as The Hill reported on the deal. “The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that half the state’s roads are in poor conditions.” And, in a familiar pattern, Sacramento’s choice to proceed with the gas tax fueled speculation that other states in similar straits could quickly follow suit. “As infrastructure maintenance costs pile up, several other states are debating whether to raise gas taxes to deal with local projects,” The Hill added. “Louisiana legislators will debate a proposal to raise gas taxes in a special session beginning next week. The Republican-led Montana state House voted to raise taxes by eight cents per gallon in March, and the state Senate will take up the proposal this month.”

The impending change leaves Republicans on the outs — and residents unhappy with the prospect of even higher taxes on one of life’s staples in California. “If voters don’t like the tax, he says they can start a petition to get a referendum on the ballot, but that would require a lot of money and more than 1 million signatures. But supporters say it’s not worth it, so long as the 10-year, $52 billion measure goes to California’s ruined roads,”,” CBS Sacramento noted. “Either side you’re on, energy analysts say the tax will leave California with the highest fuel tax in the nation.”

16 comments

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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 10 April, 2017, 13:22

    Comrades

    Inflation with average 3% per year and driving miles through growth at least 2%.

    So…..over ten years expect another 3 billion sucked out of the working class.

    Strange that energy not figured in Social Security annual increase…..so just hush already!

    Reply this comment
  2. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 10 April, 2017, 15:03

    Another stupid tax from a stupid liberal demacrat(Moonbeam Brown)always expect these demac-RATS to come up with another stupid tax to pay for some dumb pet project like the Bullet Train or elevated Bicycle trails

    Reply this comment
  3. Terry
    Terry 10 April, 2017, 18:38

    Another company in Sac is moving out. Another 1200 jobs gone. Thanks Moonbeam. They need the tax to pay for the $1.8 billion they lost. Many ppl should be in prison or fired for that starting starting with Moonbeam. I have contacted the FBI and filed complaints. CA is like a Mafia organization and we are the suckers paying for all of it. Take an Oath to the Constitution and then state we are a sanctuary state. It has to be drug money that is flowing to all part of the govt to allow this treason.

    Reply this comment
    • Bubba
      Bubba 17 April, 2017, 21:18

      And Moonbeam just pardoned a bunch of killers while denying law abiding citizens CCW permits, forcing them to go through background checks to buy ammo for what few Guns Newsom, Moonbeam et al will in let the citizens own!
      Put Moonbeam solitary confinement at Folsom or better yet let him share a cell with one of those hardened killers he likes to pardon!

      Reply this comment
  4. Ultrawoman
    Ultrawoman 10 April, 2017, 19:12

    This sucks.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dude
    Dude 10 April, 2017, 19:19

    Squeezing Californians to pay for his phallic ego trip train.

    Reply this comment
    • Truthafuss
      Truthafuss 11 April, 2017, 01:28

      Hey Dude, I see you did not learn anything in the bowling alley. This is general theft, not just about the train, which we need.

      Reply this comment
  6. CRZESK8DAD
    CRZESK8DAD 10 April, 2017, 20:37

    When Trump cuts off California for being a “sanctuary state”, watch Brown divert the new gas tax into the general fund.

    Criminals….

    Reply this comment
  7. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 11 April, 2017, 08:49

    Jerry Brown in the whitehouse? No Tanks we dont need President Moonbeam he is already making a mess of California we need to fool in the oval office better he be living at Sing Sing or Levinworth

    Reply this comment
  8. Loftgary
    Loftgary 11 April, 2017, 16:54

    This year my Social Security payment increased by a whopping $4.00. Yes FOUR dollars. If anyone in their right mind thinks that this so called road tax is going towards fixing CA infrastructure you’re mistakingly wrong. Just another way to fill some other hole that’s been pilfered.

    Reply this comment
  9. Dude
    Dude 11 April, 2017, 18:51

    No, we don’t need an overpriced train that travels north/south when the vast number of Californians commute east/west. Btw, i dont bowl.

    Reply this comment
    • valrab
      valrab 12 April, 2017, 10:33

      I agree. Who needs to be on the other end at such a fast rate. How about taking a reduction in pay to all government employees to pay for it instead of raising gas prices that is also being increased by the refineries for every catastrophe. Those catastrophes should be covered from their profit margin. Ad if the legislators broke the law on Proposition 64 they should be sued.

      Reply this comment
  10. Bubba
    Bubba 17 April, 2017, 21:09

    RECALL MOONBEAM!

    Reply this comment
  11. Bubba
    Bubba 17 April, 2017, 21:30

    I would be willing to bet not one dime of this tax increase will go to fix roads, build new roads etc. Moonbeam and the rest of those IDIOTS in La La land will use these monies robbed from us tax payers for his HSR from nowhere to nowhere, (which is how many MILLIONS over budget Moonbeam?) it will used to build bike paths, walking trials and other Eco nomsense! But not to fix roads.
    And if anyone remotely thinks any roads will be fixed or built then I got some ocean front property in AZ to sell you!

    Reply this comment

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