Nearly one million signatures collected to repeal the gas tax hike
The 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax hike recently approved by California’s legislature will take effect Nov. 1.
By SAL RODRIGUEZ | firstname.lastname@example.org | Orange County Register
PUBLISHED: April 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm | UPDATED: April 30, 2018 at 10:24 pm
Editor’s note: Breaking views are thoughts from individual members of the editorial board on today’s headlines.
On Monday, April 30, proponents of a measure to repeal gas tax increases rammed through the California Legislature last year with Senate Bill 1 submitted 940,000 signatures in an effort to place the measure on the November ballot.
The move comes weeks ahead of a May 21 filing deadline and with hundreds of thousands more signatures than the 585,407 required to qualify the measure for the ballot, perhaps reflecting the strength of the movement to repeal the 12 cents per gallon gas tax hike.
The measure, backed by former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio and gubernatorial candidate John Cox, calls for the repeal of the 12 cents per gallon increase and would require any future gas tax increase to be approved by voters.
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WOW - 940,000 signatures submitted today on the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative! Thank you to all who helped! Join us at http://www.ReformCalifornia.org #tcot
Polling by the Public Policy Institute of California in January found likely voters to be split on repealing the gas tax hike, with 47 percent of likely voters indicating support for repeal and 48 percent opposed. But subsequent polling by PPIC has also found that most Californians believe they pay more taxes than they should.
Whether gas tax opponents can tap into that latter sentiment enough and drive out voters to repeal the gas tax increase remains to be seen, but the circumstances and reality of the gas tax hike shouldn’t be forgotten.
Millions of commuters, especially the poor and middle class, have seen and felt the effects of higher taxes and higher car registration fees, all thanks to the inability of Sacramento to prioritize what California really needs.
Rather than resolve inefficiencies in Caltrans (like the 3,500 excess positions reported by the Legislative Analyst’s Office), or stop wasting so much money on the bullet train or show some evidence of fiscal restraint, the Legislature and Governor Brown voted to throw tens of billions of dollars in new taxes on the backs of Californians.
Worse, they did this with backroom deals.
Nearly $1 billion in giveaways were used to “buy” votes in the Legislature for the passage of the gas tax, including those of Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, D-Corona, who received hundreds of million of dollars in giveaways, including $18 million in park funding in Cervantes’ district, with the money coming from SB1 itself.
Roth and Cervantes for their part have only patted themselves on the back for selling out the poor and the middle class in exchange for some pork, something that could end up costing Cervantes in November. Republican challenger Bill Essayli has made a point of highlighting Cervantes’ vote for the gas tax since the launch of his campaign, apparently to great effect as his campaign has raised more money than Cervantes so far this year.
Here’s to hoping the repeal measure gets on the ballot so Californians can finally have a say one way or another.
Sal Rodriguez is an editorial writer and columnist for the Southern California News Group. He may be reached at email@example.com