California Raises Gas Taxes, Vehicle Fees to Fund Road Repairs
California has approved a bill that will increase gas taxes and vehicle fees to fund transportation projects across the state.
On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed off on a bill that will raise $5.2 billion a year for mass transit initiatives as well as road and bridge repairs. The bill ushers in the first gas tax increase the state has seen in 23 years.
The base excise tax will increase 12 cents per gallon on gasoline and 20 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. A variable excise tax is set at 17 cents. The gas and diesel taxes take effect November 1, but it won’t be until 2020 that electric car owners will pay $100 in lieu of a gas tax every year.
Annual vehicle fees will increase anywhere from $25 to $175 depending on the value of the car. This measure goes into effect January 1, 2018. According to Brown, the new taxes and fees should set most drivers back less than $10 per month.
Over the next 10 years, California expects to raise $52 billion, of which $34 million will go toward repairing roads, bridges, highways, and culverts, while $7 billion is earmarked for mass transit. Expect improvements along the 14 freeway in Santa Clarita, the 170 freeway in the San Fernando Valley, and the 605 between the 10 and 210, reports the Los Angeles Times. Bridges along the 5, 710, and 210 will also receive repairs.
“Safe and smooth roads make California a better place to live and strengthen our economy,” Brown said. “This legislation will put thousands of people to work.”
Meanwhile, Republicans aren’t having it. “Gov. Brown and Capitol Democrats just gave us the largest gas tax increase in state history—a deal so bad they needed $1 billion in pork to buy the votes to pass it. California deserves better,” Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes said in a statement.