A plan to raise $52 billion over a decade for roads, bridges, and mass transit reflects a big, ugly bill that Californians have little choice but to pay.
Most of the money, to come from higher gas taxes and vehicle fees, would go to repair infrastructure that residents are already using — and, in many cases, have been using long and often enough that it’s falling apart.
Depressed oil prices and proliferating hybrid and electric vehicles have increased the need by cutting into gas-tax revenue.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who was joined by Democratic legislative leaders in announcing the plan, compared the need to a leaky roof that will get only leakier and costlier with neglect. “If you don’t pay now, you pay later — and more,” he said in an interview. “We’re not going to let the roads become undrivable.”
Most of the proposed revenue would come from raising the gasoline excise tax, which is levied on distributors, then passed on to drivers, from 18 to 30 cents a gallon.
The plan also would raise the diesel excise tax from 20 to 36 cents a gallon; more than triple the diesel sales tax, to 5.75 percent; and add a $100 fee for electric vehicles — which, so long as they’re not hovering to and fro “Back to the Future”-style, are tearing up the same roads as everyone else.
Brown noted that the most responsible way to do so is by charging the motorists who use the infrastructure.
Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle