SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13/AP) – Assemblyman Travis Allen says he’ll ask the state Supreme Court to decide on the official ballot summary for his measure to repeal the gas tax.
The new tax added a dozen cents for each gallon of gas—20 cents more for diesel—has a lot of drivers heated, and a gubernatorial candidate determined to repeal it.
The Huntington Beach Republican says Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote a misleading ballot summary for the repeal initiative. Becerra’s summary focused on repealing the revenue from the tax, rather than the tax increase itself.
ORIGINAL BALLOT LANGUAGE:
ELIMINATES RECENTLY ENACTED ROAD REPAIR AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BY REPEALING REVENUES DEDICATED FOR THOSE PURPOSES.
INITIATIVE STATUTE. Eliminates recently enacted state and local transportation funding for repair and maintenance of streets, highways, bridges, safety projects, and public transportation by repealing portions of the tax on gasoline ($0.12 per gallon) and diesel fuel ($0.20 per gallon), sales and excise taxes on diesel fuel (4% per gallon), vehicle registration fees ($25-$175, depending on vehicle value), and $100 zero-emission vehicle fee. Eliminates Independent Office of Audits and Investigations, which is responsible for ensuring accountability in the use of revenue for transportation projects. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Reduced annual state transportation revenues of $2.9 billion in 2018-19, increasing to $4.9 billion annually by 2020-21. These revenues would otherwise primarily support state highway maintenance and rehabilitation, local streets and roads, and mass transit. (17-0004).
A Sacramento County Superior Court agreed with Allen and rewrote the description, which appears on petitions and the ballot.
The judge’s rewritten ballot title read: “Repeals recently enacted gas and diesel taxes and vehicle registration fees. Eliminates road repair and transportation programs funded by these taxes and fees.”
The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento last week reversed the lower-court order without explanation.
Allen’s gas-tax initiative is one of two proposals that seek to reverse a gas tax increase approved earlier this year to fund road repairs.
The ballot measure is a central part of Allen’s campaign for governor.
Caltrans says $5 billion in projects have already been expedited, including Highway 50 between Watt Avenue and the Interstate 5 interchange, as well as Interstate 80 near Madison Avenue.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.