California approves billions in fuel tax increases

SACRAMENTO – California has approved raising $52.4 billion over 10 years to fund infrastructure improvements by increasing fuel taxes and vehicle fees.

The plan, approved by the legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, also calls for charging electric-vehicle owners a yearly fee.

The plan calls for raising money from the following sources: 

  • $24.4 billion by increasing the gasoline excise tax by 12 cents per gallon, or 43 percent above the current rate of 27.8 cents
  • $3 billion by raising the 16-cent-a-gallon diesel excise tax by 20 cents, a 125 percent increase
  • $3.5 billion by increasing the state diesel sales tax from 9 percent to 13 percent
  • $16.3 billion from an annual transportation improvement fee based on a vehicle’s value, with an average fee of $50 or less.
  • $200 million from a new $100 annual fee on zero-emission vehicles
  • $706 million in repayments of transportation funds that had previously been loaned to the state’s General Fund

Republican lawmakers, who are in the minority in the Legislature, opposed the measure, contending that the state already has enough money to spend on infrastructure improvements but that it has been diverted for other uses.

They proposed paying for road repairs without raising taxes by redirecting billions of dollars from such sources as vehicle sales taxes and truck-weight fees.

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