It could cost more to drive in California: Proposed gas, vehicle tax hike to fund road repairs

- Governor Jerry Brown sits in the hot Riverside sun shading himself as he listens to a parade of speakers promote Senate Bill 1.

S.B. 1 he says is “...a hell of a good deal."

"Now is the time.”

The governor wants to sell you and the legislature on better roads for your car. He wants you to pay more for driving on them. This translates to $0.12 more a gallon at the pump -- and an annual user fee based on the value of your car.

For example, if you have a car with an 18-gallon tank it will cost you an extra $2.16 per tank in excise taxes.

There would also be an annual user fee that would vary based on the value of your vehicle. If your car is worth up to $4,999, you would pay $25 a year. A car with a value of $60,000 and up would cost $175 a year.

"The roads are deteriorating so we got to fix them. Every year we delay the expense goes up,” said Brown on Tuesday.

"What’s happened in the past is we had the worst economic recession since 1929," said Senate Speaker pro Tem Kevin DeLeon. "There were some huge draconian cuts to our public schools to our public hospitals. There was money diverted to help the public schools."

Money that was supposed to be used for transportation.

In S.B. 1, the only way money can be diverted is with a vote of the people. There are Republicans who have spoken out against the measure.

Rancho Cucamonga Senator Mike Morrell wrote, “The ripple effect of these tax increases will be felt throughout the economy. As the cost of shipping goods goes up, so will the cost of living here. Families will see prices rise on everyday essentials from groceries to school supplies. Our state is already unaffordable for too many Californians. New taxes will only make the situation worse."

If you ask union workers who need the infrastructure jobs, like Chad Evans who hasn’t worked since October, he'll tell you, "I need to go back to work. My brother here needs to go back to work."

Can he afford to go back to work and pay more money to drive there?

"I can’t afford not to go back to work. We have to afford it,” said Evans.

“This is the fifth richest economy in the world," Brown said. "We have 33 million vehicles going across the roads of California. We have more highways than any other place in the world.”

That’s why he’s pushing the legislature to vote for it now.

As the Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says, “Our roads suck. Our roads absolutely suck in California."

The decision will be up to the legislature.

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