California voters rejected Proposition 6 at the polls on Tuesday, a measure to repeal a recent increase in the state’s gas tax, according to a report from The Mercury News.
The fate of Prop 6 was believed to determine the fate of California’s roads, bridges and transit, as the measure would have repealed a law passed last year, called SB1, which increased the tax on gasoline by 12 cents and the tax on diesel by 20 cents per gallon. The same law also increased registration fees by an average of $50 per vehicle and imposed an additional $100 fee for vehicles that don’t use gasoline.
Not only was the estimated $5.4 billion annually from those taxes and fees to pay for road, highway, bridge and transit repairs at stake, but also the state's capacity to raise money for transportation improvements in the future hung in the balance.
Prop 6 would have required 2/3 of voters to approve any increase in fuel taxes or vehicle fees in the future, making it all that much harder to pay for roads, rails, bridges and buses. Before SB1 was approved, the state was facing a $57 billion funding shortfall over the next 10 years to rehab the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
The state’s transportation commission, which reviews and oversees transportation funding in the state, has already approved more than 9,200 projects across the state funded by SB1. Of those, 6,500 have already started construction, and roughly half of those were at risk of being delayed or defunded if Prop 6 passed.
Source: The Mercury News