San Diego

Fate of Newest Gas Tax Rests in Californians' Decision on Prop 6

A yes vote on Proposition 6 means you're in favor of repealing the tax, while a no vote means you'd prefer if it stayed

In three weeks, California voters will decide if they want to keep or nix a gas tax approved by state legislators last year.

Proposition 6 will ask Californians if they want to repeal that tax. A yes vote means you want the tax to go away, and a no vote means you’d prefer if it stayed.

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.

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.

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

Former City Councilman and current repeal campaign chairman Carl Demaio calls the repeal a money saver. Opponents of the repeal say it’s a “pay me now or pay me more later,” situation.

"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," opposition coalition representative Catherine Hill said.

DeMaio says voting yes would achieve three things.

"It repeals the gas tax increase. It overturns the car tax that was imposed on everybody and it says that politicians can't raise the car or gas tax ever again without first seeking voter approval," DeMaio said.

DeMaio told NBC 7 in April that according to an audit by the California Legislative Analyst's Office, just 20 percent of existing gas tax revenue goes into road projects.

"The politicians have consistently diverted the gas tax funds to other programs, not to our roads," DeMaio said.

Hill claims there is a guarantee the money will go to local streets and roads.

Whatever you call it, your vote on Proposition 6 may be less about how much money is necessary to repair the state's infrastructure and more about how that money is raised and for what improvements.

DeMaio says the gas and registration increases cost the average Californian between $650 and $800 per year depending upon how much you drive.

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