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Road Repair Bill Would Raise California Gas Tax, Vehicle Fees

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

There’s bipartisan agreement at the state Capitol that California’s roads and highways need
billions of dollars in repairs. The question is where the money would come from.

A new proposal would hit drivers in three ways:

  • A 10-cent gas tax increase.
  • A $35 vehicle registration fee increase – with a $100 surcharge for zero-emission vehicles.
  • And a 35 percent vehicle license fee increase, phased in over five years.

Together, they would raise at least $3.5 billion a year for road and highway maintenance.

The bill’s author, Democratic Senator Jim Beall, says he held hearings across the state on how to raise the money.

“The big message we got is, whatever you do, try to be fair and make everybody pay a fair share,” Beall says. “And so the one way we can do that is to spread the cost over several different fees.”

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has proposed a $2 billion a year transportation plan with a $50 per vehicle fee increase.

Any deal will require Republican votes and Governor Jerry Brown’s signature. Brown called for new infrastructure spending in his January State of the State address.