SACRAMENTO — California’s gas excise tax will rocket up to 30 cents per gallon Nov. 1, thanks to new legislation passed April 6.
Senate Bill 1 will raise California’s gas excise tax by 12 cents, raising a projected $52.4 billion over 10 years to fix the state’s roads.
The new bill will also increase the diesel excise tax by 20 cents and introduces a new annual vehicle fee of $25 to $175, depending on the vehicle’s value.
There will also be a $100 annual fee on zero-emission vehicles and a 5.75 percent increase in the diesel sales tax.
The tax increases will take effect Nov. 1 and new vehicle registration fees will begin Jan. 1, 2018.
The bill barely passed the Legislature, getting 27 votes in the Senate and 54 in the Assembly, barely the required two-thirds needed to pass in each house.
Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the Assembly Republican leader and the Morongo Basin’s representative, condemned the bill immediately after Gov. Jerry Brown signed it.
“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,” Mayes said.
Morongo Basin Arco AM/PM manager Brian Briggs said a few customers have already expressed their concern and anger about the new tax.
“We have so many taxes in California as it is,” Briggs said this week.
He expects his business may go down a bit, because drivers already having trouble affording travel are going to drive less frequently.
The Morongo Basin’s representative in the Senate, Jean Fuller, also voted against the new taxes.
“It is deeply disappointing that legislative Democrats chose to punish Californians with tax increases after neglecting our roads for years. This out-of-touch plan will particularly hurt Californians struggling to make ends meet and give us all less than what we deserve,” Fuller said in a released statement.
“It didn’t have to be this way. Assemblyman Fong’s transportation bill was a better solution to fix our roads and bridges without raising a penny of new taxes.”
Assemblyman Vince Fong, a Republican from Kern County, proposed a bill that would create the Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Program to address traffic congestion and deferred maintenance on state highways and local streets.
The bill would provide for the deposit of existing sources of revenue into a new Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Account, including revenues from the vehicle sales and use tax, vehicle insurance taxes, certain diesel taxes, some vehicle registration fees and miscellaneous State Highway Account revenues.
Fong’s bill, however, was never voted on by the Legislature.