Senate Bill 1 was not passed by or with voter approval. Gov. Jerry Brown broke his promise of no new taxes without voter approval by passing SB1 with his Democrat majority.
SB1 did more than add 12 cents per gallon of gas and 20 cents per gallon for diesel; it increased sales tax on diesel by 4 cents per gallon and significantly increased car registration fees for Californians. Moreover, the taxes will automatically increase annually, as “inflation adjustments.”
The Sacramento Bee published SB1’s direction of dollars in April 2017; including:
$100 million to increase the number of trips by bike and on foot;
$25 million for the freeway service patrol program; (Don’t we already pay the CHP?)
$7 million total for transportation-related research and education, University of California ($5 million) and California State University ($2 million); ($7 million to California’s university system?)
$5 million in workforce development grants to local agencies. (We pay to train felons.)
State and local governments receive $1.49 million and $1.48 million, respectively.
Public transit gets $700 million plus an additional one-time $256 million from “the transportation loan payback”; (What piggy bank is that? The “money will pay for local bus and light-rail systems, new equipment and other capital expenses.”)
$365 million for “trade” — “projects to improve movement of goods from the state’s large ports and other trade facilities”;
$250 million for corridors; traffic congestion;
Money is promised for state parks, off-road vehicle parks, boating programs “and other services from the gas used by such vehicles; (What is the mechanism to separate out those dollars?)
There is also language placing an “emphasis” on providing “complete streets,” meaning safe spaces for pedestrians and bikers along with capturing storm water and other elements.
SB1 was to create another government department called Independent Office of Audits as well as a $30 million environmental program.
The anticipated revenue is a rosy estimate. A solid source, however, is taking $706 million “from the general fund’s repayment of transportation loans.” A more whimsical item is predicting an annual $100 million from “unspecified Caltrans savings.”
I have written about the farce of SB1 before and a significant part of it cannot be exposed enough:
Chapter 2. Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program. (RMRA)
Section 2030 (a) through (h) include but not limited to: traffic control devices, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and (those) safety projects, “transit facilities, and drainage and stormwater (sic) capture projects…”
Section 2038 brings in the California Development Workforce Board and State Department of Education; (a) through (f). Mandatory plans for pre-apprenticeships for women, minorities, the underprivileged, disadvantaged and underrepresented “to help increase their representation in the building and construction trades.”
Subsection (e): outreach those in individuals “in the local labor market area and to formerly incarcerated individuals…” There must be coordination between state-approved apprenticeship programs, engaging “the California Conservation Corps and certified community conservation corps” to better ensure future employment.
Section 2032 (g): $2 million to the California State University to conduct “transportation research and transportation-related workforce education, training and development.”
California State Sen. Scott Wilk has seen this monetary charade called SB1 up close and personal. He recently wrote: “The catch was the ‘lockbox’ [Proposition 69] was to be sealed on Jan. 1, 2018. In June 2017, during the state budget process, the Democrats stole about 30 percent of the new gas tax money from the “lockbox.” They redirected this funding from roads to such things as the state parks system and job training for felons!
SB 1 is simply a sleight-of-hand shell game. It’s a money grab of epic proportions that will not result in a noticeable, long-term solution to the plague of dilapidation that has haunted California’s roadways.
Supporting Proposition 6 to repeal SB1, The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association estimates SB1 costs a family of four $700 yearly (automatically increasing annually). That’s a family’s vacation, their Christmas or a significant part of their auto insurance bill.
The dishonest ballot language cites repealing road repairs. At the least, that is grossly misleading. The words are from Sacramento Democrats who are fighting Prop. 6 by any means necessary to defeat it. Mailers are being sent to voters correcting the ballot language: Proposition 6: Gas Tax Repeal Initiative, with succinct, truthful language.
With a citizen’s lock box, money from existing gas tax revenue and motor vehicle sales tax will dedicate money to infrastructure and roads “even after repealing the gas tax”!
YES on Proposition 6.
Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among several local Republicans.