SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, today urged Governor Jerry Brown to reconsider his support of legislation hiking the gas tax and veto Senate Bill 1. In early April, Democratic leaders in Sacramento pushed through the largest gas tax increase in state history bilking Californian’s out of $52 billion in additional taxes at the pump. Senator Wilk urged the governor to consider the facts when making his final decision. (Link to Senator Wilk’s veto request)
“There is still time to do the right thing for California commuters and taxpayers,” wrote Wilk.
The Democratic majority party made claims have been made about how much drivers will pay and how exactly the money will be spent. But, here are the facts:
Claim: Money will only go to fund roads.
Fact: There is $750 million dollars per year for transit and $100 million dollars per year for active transportation like biking and walking.
Fact: There is $7 million per year for university research.
Fact: There is $5 million per year allocated to labor union special interest programs.
Fact: Section 28 & 30 of SB 1 diverts $800 million to parks.
Claim: SB 1 has reforms that lessen red tape for road construction and repair.
Fact: Any opportunity for real reform was lost when the majority party refused to pursue efficiencies meant to reduce red tape. They could have streamlined and sped up road repair and construction projects to actually reduce congestion.
Claim: These taxes end after 10 years and can only be used for transportation.
Fact: Not only are the taxes and fees permanent, they automatically increase annually beginning in 2020 and the money can be reallocated with a simple majority vote.
Claim: None of these dollars will be used for the High-Speed Rail project
Fact: Section 31 of SB 1 qualifies to fund the operation of High-Speed Rail.
Fact: Part of the constitution allows gas tax revenue to be spent on public mass transit, which would include High-Speed Rail.
Fact: No section of the bill prevents money from being diverted or reallocated to fund the boondoggle train to nowhere.
Claim: This bill will reduce traffic congestion and improve commutes.
Fact: Less than 5 percent of the funds can go to reduce traffic congestion. $5.2 billion dollars spent per year and there are no meaningful reforms or solutions to reduce traffic and smog.
Senator Wilk vowed to continue the fight against this tax even in the face of almost certain defeat.
“I will not stop fighting for the ordinary Californians who simply cannot afford an increase to California’s already highest in the nation cost of living. The fact that their government has mishandled road repair funding over the years is not the responsibility of the people and they should not be punished for it.”