California gas tax increase is now law. What it costs you and what it fixes

By Jim Miller :  sacbee – excerpt

SF Bay Bridge has one of the most hated commutes, but will get worse as gas taxes are pumped into road diets and bike lanes on access streets in SOMA street “improvements”.
Big companies are losing patience and expanding elsewhere. Photo by Zrants

Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law billions of dollars in higher fuel taxes and vehicle fees, the state will have an estimated $52 billion more money to help cover the state’s transportation needs for the next decade

5 thoughts on “California gas tax increase is now law. What it costs you and what it fixes

    • Don’t take our word for it. Here is SPUR’s description of how the gas tax for road repair money will really be spent, unless some of the public continues to fight against the tax and or the use of the gas tax. There are two movements to overturn the tax working their way onto our ballots. Stay tuned as the details are coming fast and furious. Some info here: Furor over gas-tax hike shows no sign of easing

      Why Is SB 1 So Historic?

      For starters, it raises an enormous amount of revenue — over $5 billion per year in perpetuity, equivalent to a 45 percent increase over current state funding levels. For years, transportation advocates and local elected officials pounded the message that funding shortfalls accumulating over the last several decades have resulted in a $59 billion backlog of state highway repairs and a $75 billion backlog for local streets and roads. Press events featured pictures of giant potholes and stories of car repair bills exceeding $700 a year. The message was heard, and the Legislature went big.

      SB 1 has been called a “road bill,” but the short hand is somewhat misleading. Yes, the vast majority of the funds are devoted to roadways, but the focus is very much on roadway maintenance rather than roadway expansion. The single program focused on traffic congestion (a new $250-million-per-year competitive program) receives only about 5 percent of the funds annually and actually excludes highway widening projects other than express lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

      By contrast, public transit receives more than 10 percent of the annual funds, with a significant share of the funding distributed via formula, providing transit operators statewide with increased predictable funding. In addition to this regular funding for operators, the bill dedicates $245 million per year to the Transit Intercity Rail Capital Program, which funds upgrades and expansions for statewide rail projects. The bill also includes a new commuter rail program that will help support Caltrain, SMART and ACE services. Finally, bicycle and pedestrian projects are expressly called out as eligible for funding from the new infusion of road repair money, providing an enormous opportunity to make our streets more friendly for biking and walking. In the Bay Area alone, the bill is expected to provide about $230 million more per year in increased road repair funding to cities and counties.


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