Repeal of controversial gas tax will appear on November ballot

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jun 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 02:11:24-04

California voters will have the choice to reverse or keep a controversial gas tax come November.

Thousands of workers commute to and from San Luis Obispo daily and people across the county are hoping to avoid paying more at the pump.

One man who drives in from Fresno to work locally thinks a lower gas tax would save his job.

"It would secure my job more because the company puts out a lot of money just for us to make it to work," said Shane Holliday.

A statewide gas tax increase to pay for road repairs was put in place in 2017. It was passed by lawmakers without the voters’ say. The GOP is looking to undo it.

Republican candidate for governor John Cox is all for the repeal. He thinks Caltrans is inefficient with project spending.

"I have traveled up and down the state and met so many working Californians who have to decide between buying groceries and filling their tank," Cox said at a press conference earlier this month.

Another San Luis Obispo County commuter agrees and says the extra spending for repairing roads and bridges burdens the working class.

"It will hopefully force Caltrans to live within their means," said Atascadero resident Dennis Morrison.

But one woman thinks funding infrastructure is more beneficial in the long run.

"Although it does add money to the gas bill, I also think it’s important to have safe infrastructure so that people can commute," said Anna Carey, a Morro Bay resident.

Democratic candidate for governor Gavin Newsom supports the gas tax, saying hundreds of current projects would be delayed or shut down if it was not kept in place.

"Someone said to me the other day, ‘Boy son, see that pothole? It’s old enough to qualify for Medicare.’ We need to step up our investments," countered Newsom at a gubernatorial candidate panel.

Governor Brown’s current transportation plan – funded by the tax – looks to bring in $5.2 billion over the next 10 years to improve state infrastructure.

The American Society of Civil Engineers recently graded California’s roads, bridges and tunnels, giving them a D+.