California lawmakers are considering a plan that would significantly increase taxes on gas and diesel fuel to fund a multibillion dollar infrastructure repair plan.
The “Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017” is spearheaded by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and would raise taxes on vehicle registration as well as gas and diesel fuel in order to generate $5 billion per year to put toward California’s highways, bridges, and anti-traffic congestion projects. Under the new plan, truckers would pay an extra excise $0.20 per gallon for diesel fuel. The diesel fuel sales tax would increase to 5.75% under the proposal. The gas tax would also go up by $0.12 per gallon.
According to Governor Brown, “California has a massive backlog of broken infrastructure that has been neglected far too long. Fixing the roads will not get cheaper by waiting – or ignoring the problem.”
The plan also includes a provision that would prevent lawmakers from using the extra money generated from the fuel tax increase for non-infrastructure or transportation uses.
California Republicans have lashed out against Governor Brown’s plan because they say that their state’s drivers already pay some of the highest fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees in the country.
The Governor’s Office says that this is the first time that California has raised the gas tax in 23 years.
Brown will need a two-thirds majority vote to pass the proposal. It isn’t clear if he will have the votes. Brown and the Democrats have until April 6 to approve the plan.