San Diego

Drivers Brave Hour-Long Line to Fill Up on $1.99 Gas

Hundreds of drivers braved more than an hour's wait at a Chula Vista gas station so they could fill up on $1.99 fuel.

The price was set as a promotion for the Yes on 6 campaign, which is driving state voters to support the repeal of a gas tax implemented by state legislatures last year.

The passage of SB1 by lawmakers implemented a 12-cent and 20-cent per gallon hike on regular and diesel fuel, respectively, and increased vehicle registration fees anywhere from $25 to $175.

State officials say the tax and added fees equate to $5.2 billion in state revenue that will go towards fixing aging highways, bridges, roads and other transit infrastructure.

But Yes on 6 chairman and former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio says existing taxes are more than enough to handle California's aging transportation infrastructure and claims politicians are diverting the funds.

“The existing gas tax is more than enough to fix roads, the problem is that politicians have diverted the money to everything but roads," DeMaio told NBC 7.

DeMaio says giving drivers a chance at $1.99 per gallon gas illustrates the impact state taxes, mandates and fees have on consumers at the pump.

"The working families need to understand that a lot of their budget is being taken out at the pump through higher gas taxes, fees and mandates, and we can do something about that by voting yes on Prop 6,' he said.

DeMaio says that according to Survey USA, 65 percent of Californians support the gas tax repeal.

A yes vote means you want the tax to go away and a no vote means you’d prefer if it stayed. DeMaio said that politicians recently changed the title of the proposition on the ballot from "Gas Tax Repeal" to "Transportation Taxes and Fees."

Promotions like the one held Thursday in Chula Vista also give the yes campaign a chance to alert voters of the "misleading title."

Driver Agustin Romero waited more than an hour to fill up his SUV's 25-gallon tank, but said it was "most definitely worth it," because he normally spends close to double what he spent Thursday.

Romero said he'll vote yes on Prop 6 not just because he wants cheaper gas, and says there are other ways the state can gather revenue to fix roads.

“I already paid a hefty price just for registration and that’s what it’s there for, so why ding us on gas when we’re already being hit hard at the DMV?" Romero said.

DeMaio said that his campaign will soon announce how drivers can get a rebate on the added registration fees they've already paid this year if the proposition passes.

Yes on 6 opposition coalition representative Catherine Hill told NBC 7 "The fact of the matter is if we let our roads continue to deteriorate it's going to be more costly to repair over the long run."

She also claims there is a guarantee that revenue from the newest gas tax is going to local streets and roads.

In May, the California Transportation Commission approved more than $300 million to be spent on projects in San Diego.

The Valero station on Palomar Street voluntarily dropped their price to $1.99 for two hours, according to DeMaio.

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