California Legislature Passes Transportation Tax

California’s will soon be paying a little more for gasoline. The state legislature approved a transportation tax bill that will raise 52 (B) billion dollars over the next ten years for transportation infrastructure repairs.

It took until 10:30pm, but the Senate and Assembly have passed Senate Bill One Thursday night. It will enact a tax increase of 12 cents per gallon on gasoline and 20 cents per gallon on diesel fuel.

California State Senator Jim Beall authored SB 1.  Photo by Joe Michaels, KFBK

“We’re going to start cleaning up the mess in California with our road repairs on our highways and our local streets,” said the bill’s author Senator Jim Beall. “This money goes directly to the cities and counties and they’ll be able to start repairing the roads immediately.”

“We’re going to start cleaning up the mess in California..." Senator Jim Beall (D, San Jose).

Upon Governor Brown’s signature, the gas and diesel tax increases will go into effect November 1, 2017. The vehicle tax takes effect at the start of next year.  He reacted shortly after the passage of the bill on Thursday night.

Republicans spoke against the bill for more than an hour before a 27-11 vote sent the bill to the California Assembly. Senator Jim Nielsen calls the bill a “rip off” that will oppress the middle and lower class. 

“Some are going to have to make a choice between a gallon of gas for the kids and a gallon of gas for the car,” said Nielsen.

Members of the Assembly debated the issue for nearly two hours before giving it final approval on a razor-thin 54-26 two-thirds vote.

The issue was in doubt for much of Thursday afternoon before Governor Jerry Brown joined a democratic caucus that ended a more than two-hour delay in the Senate. Members of the majority party left that closed-door meeting with purpose. Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson remarking, “We’re getting it done.”

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