A California gas tax repeal effort has qualified for the November ballot. The fight over the repeal could end up being one of the costliest statewide measures and the scope spans to the Coachella Valley.
Mayors, carpenters, council members, and engineers stood shoulder-to-shoulder at Patriot Park Thursday to speak in opposition of Proposition Six.
Proposition Six, better known as the “gas tax”, opposes and repeals the SB 1 gas tax money. Simply put, the gas tax is an extra 12 cents per gallon at the pump. That money is then allotted to cities across California for road improvement.
Cathedral City Mayor Stan Henry said the gas tax is integral for street projects like the current one on Dinah Shore and Date Palm, a busy intersection.
If Prop Six passes, the $2 billion of funding over ten years allotted for Riverside and San Bernardino county, will be lost.
“The projects at risk will make our roads safer, ease traffic, fix potholes, upgrade bridges and overpasses and improve public transportation in every community throughout California,” Jimmy Elrod of Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, said.
If the gas tax is repealed, Elrod said it could jeopardize roughly 50-thousand jobs throughout the state.
People in favor of the legislation argue the cost of driving in California is too high. The State’s Legislative Analyst’s office estimated California’s transportation bill, vehicle fees and gas taxes, would cost the average driver 750 dollars per year.
According to Gas Buddy, California drivers are paying the second highest gas taxes combining state, local and federal gas taxes but Henry said that money is highly necessary.
“It’s a couple of cents at the pumps but look at the benefits we’re already seeing,” he said. “This is the first year we’re able to do a major road improvement. We weren’t able to do any time past that.”
Henry wants to remind everyone, the debate isn’t about politics, it’s about community, road safety and what’s best for the people. Proponents on both sides are fueling up for the fight on Prop Six until the November election.