FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Huff: Governor’s Transportation Plan Wastes Taxpayer Money
Proposal Does Not End Weight Fee Diversions and Increases Taxes
SACRAMENTO: Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) says he cannot support the Governor’s transportation infrastructure financing plan as it’s currently written because it does not end the diversion of transportation tax dollars to other areas of the state budget and contains multiple tax hikes on motorists.
The former Senate Republican Leader is the author of SCAX1 1 and SCA 7, which would provide billions in funding for new and improved roads, highways and bridges by ending the diversion of truck weight fees and other transportation tax dollars. More than $5 billion in transportation taxes have been diverted from California’s transportation infrastructure needs just since 2010, and the Governor’s plan continues this diversion.
Senator Huff is also the author of SBX1 2, which would guarantee that $1.9 billion in cap and trade taxes imposed on gasoline this year are directed to fixing and upgrading our roads, highways and bridges. The measure was defeated on a party-line vote earlier this week in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee.
“The Governor deserves some credit for finally getting seriously engaged in the discussion of how we fix our roads,” said Senator Huff. “But he’s ignoring the will of most Californians, who do not support additional tax hikes. Voters know they already pay some of the highest transportation tax rates in the nation and they want this money to be used to fix our roads, not siphoned off to other areas of the state budget.”
Senator Huff cited a new poll released just yesterday by the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. It found that most Californians oppose higher gas taxes or vehicle registration fees, even when they are told that the state faces a $59 billion backlog of road repair projects. The Governor’s plan increases gasoline excise taxes, increases diesel fuel taxes by eleven cents per gallon and creates a new highway user fee of $65 for every vehicle.
Senator Huff is also concerned that despite his past promises the Governor’s plan imposes new taxes without a vote of the people, which means it will need Republican support to pass in both the Senate and Assembly. Worse yet, the Governor’s plan does not contain any constitutional protection for existing transportation taxes. This means the Legislature can continue to divert this money to other areas of the state budget.
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.