Gas Tax Passage Sparks Anger, Hope For California Road Repairs

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Less than a day after a road repair bill that will increase the gas tax in California was passed by the legislature, drivers are fuming over a future with higher gas prices.

Shelli Clark is one of many Californians who will have to pay that extra price at the pump to pay for the state’s bad roads.

“I just think it’s absolutely ridiculous the way that we’re just being bombarded and we have no say so,” she said.

Opponents say the tax was a bad deal between the governor and Democrats, but lobbyists say there’s no stopping it.

“This is really a slam on the middle class and that’s why we’re seeing such a strong negative reaction up and down California,” said Jon Coupal with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

If voters don’t like the tax, he says they can start a petition to get a referendum on the ballot, but that would require a lot of money and more than 1 million signatures.

But supporters say it’s not worth it, so long as the 10-year, $52 billion measure goes to California’s ruined roads.

“I think the condition of the roads need repair, and I think this is one opportunity to get the money to make the repairs,” said Gary Lambert.

Either side you’re on, energy analysts say the tax will leave California with the highest fuel tax in the nation.

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