California Lawmakers Approve Senate Bill 1: 52.4 Billion Dollar Revenue and Spending Plan

On Thursday, April 6, 2017,  California lawmakers approved a multibillion transportation revenue and spending plan. The state Senate voted 27-11 and the state Assembly voted 54-26 to approve California’s Senate Bill 1.

SB 1 will dedicate $52.4 billion over ten years to road, bridge and freeway repairs — as well as transit projects — by raising fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. The money would be split between local and state governments.

It will raise gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon — a 43 percent increase — and diesel taxes from 16 cents per gallon to 36 cents beginning Nov. 1. Diesel sales taxes would also rise.

Drivers would also face a new annual fee to be paid with their vehicle registration, ranging from $25 to $175 depending on the value of their vehicle, starting next year. The taxes and fees would rise each year with inflation. Zero-emission vehicles will be charged a $100 annual fee

The proponents argue that the bill will spur economic activity by improving goods movement and supporting construction jobs that spend money locally.

Brown and Legislative leaders agreed to add more than $800 million to the budget trailer bill because it was too late to amend the transportation measure. This additional funding would send $420 million to four Riverside County road projects, $6.3 million to a Stockton bridge-widening project, and $400 million to extend the commuter rail line, the Altamont Corridor Express, to Ceres and Merced.

Posted: 04/10/17 Joseph Dzida