SB 1 Repeal: Eliminates Road Repair and Transportation Funding
SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was signed into law on April 28, 2017. This legislative package invests $52 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. These funds will be split equally between state and local investments.
SB 1 includes a 12 cent gas tax increase and other fees to raise funds for transportation infrastructure. A deal on the package was struck last spring between the Governor, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, with the legislation needing a 2/3rds vote in both houses to pass. All Democrats in the Assembly supported the bill, while in the Senate, one Democrat opposed and one Republican supported to reach the 2/3rds threshold.
The first repeal effort, submitted by Assemblyman and Gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen:
Eliminates recently enacted state and local transportation funding for repair and maintenance of streets, highways, bridges, safety projects, and public transportation by repealing portions of the tax on gasoline ($0.12 per gallon) and diesel fuel ($0.20 per gallon), sales and excise taxes on diesel fuel (4% per gallon), vehicle registration fees ($25-$175, depending on vehicle value), and $100 zero-emission vehicle fee. Eliminates newly-established Independent Office of Audits and Investigations, which is responsible for ensuring accountability in the use of revenue for transportation projects.
A judge ruled in September that the Attorney General issued a misleading title and summary for the measure and he would be writing the language himself. The measure is currently cleared for circulation and needs 365,880 signatures to qualify.
The second is a constitutional amendment, submitted by Tom Hiltachk, which states:
The people hereby amend the Constitution to require voter approval of the recent increase in the gas and car tax enacted by Chapter 5 of the Statutes of 2017 and any future increases in the gas and car tax.
This is supported by many members of the California Republican Congressional delegation as an effort to drive Republicans to the polls in November when there may only be Dems at the top of the ticket. This measure is currently pending review at the Attorney General’s office.
As part of the Fix our Roads Coalition, the Chamber has signed onto letters to the Republican members of Congress urging them not to move forward and is engaging on press events designed to highlight the projects in various communities funded by SB 1.
Polling has been varied on repeal. A June survey by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found 58 percent of voters oppose SB 1 (39 percent of those strongly opposed). An October poll conducted by Problosky Research found 53.9 percent of voters would vote to oppose the repeal of the gas tax.
OPPOSE REPEAL- The Chamber supported SB 1 and has long advocated for increased infrastructure investment.