Repealing Gas Tax Could Be Year's Most Divisive Ballot Measure

Margie Shafer
October 29, 2018 - 3:19 pm

The effort to repeal California's new gasoline tax is one of the more controversial measures on the ballot this year. 

Roughly $5 billion in road repair projects would be abandoned if voters approve Proposition 6 on Election Day, because it would repeal the tax of 12 cents per gallon and new registration fees that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last year. 

Conservative radio talk show host Carl DeMaio of San Diego leads a group that says repealing last year increase in gas taxes could actually boost funding for road repairs. 

"Vote to repeal the gas tax and then demand that a hundred percent of the lowered gas tax actually go into roads," said DeMaio. "If we do that actually we'll increase funding for road repairs by $2.3 billion."

In the long run, the keeping the gas tax in place will actually save money for drivers because their cars and trucks won't incur as much wear and tear from potholes and other road hazards, said Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. 

"Proposition 6 is a dangerous u-turn to yesterday," Guardino said.

The tax adds up to $9 per month for the average driver, he said, adding that it was the first increase in 25 years in gas surcharges. 

In one poll released last week by the Public Polling Institute, 41 percent of voters support Prop 6, 48 percent oppose it and 11 percent had not decided.