Proposition 6: Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by the Electorate.
Should the increase in vehicle fuel taxes and fees enacted by the Legislature in 2017 be reversed and should the Constitution be amended to require voter approval of any transportation related taxes and fees?
In 2017 lawmakers passed the Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB 1) increasing state funding for transportation purposes from $6.6 billion in 2016-17 to $12.1 billion in 2018-19. By 2020-21 when all the taxes will have been in effect, SB 1 revenue is estimated to total $5.1 billion annually.
On November 1, 2017 State fuel excise taxes per gallon increased 12 cents for gasoline and 20 cents for diesel. Diesel State sales tax increased by 4 percent. A new transportation fee was added to the cost of registering a vehicle, including a fee for electric cars starting in 2020. After July 1, 2020, fuel excise taxes will be adjusted for inflation.
Voters restricted the new SB 1 tax revenues to transportation purposes by approving Prop 69 in June 2018.
In March 2018 US News & World Report rated California 49th in road quality, 11th in bridge quality, and 46th in commute times among the fifty states.
Prop 6 would:
- Repeal the fuel tax increases and vehicle fees enacted by SB 1.
- Amend the State Constitution to require any future legislatively-imposed taxes on fuels and vehicles to take effect only if the voters of the state vote to approve it.
If Prop 6 is approved, SB 1 transportation tax revenues will be reduced in 2018-19 from $4.4 billion to $2 billion. After that time SB 1 will no longer exist and transportation tax revenue will be reduced by $5.1 annually. According to the Legislative Analyst, the loss of funding will affect state highway maintenance and rehabilitation, local streets and roads, and mass transit.
Adding the requirement that most transportation-related taxes must also be approved by the voters will make it more difficult to impose such changes in the future.