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by Micah J. Fleck
Who cares about the drivers in CA, right? They can just pay for everything.
According to a new report:
California legislators approved a $52 billion infrastructure plan on Thursday meant to address a massive backlog of repair and maintenance projects, while creating thousands of new jobs.
State drivers will shoulder much of the financial burden for the new plan: The bill raises gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon and creates a new annual fee for vehicle owners.
Supporters of the bill said the average driver would pay about $10 more per month in fuel taxes, and most drivers will pay between $25 and $50 annually to license vehicles valued under $25,000.
The measure is a significant win for Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who campaigned hard to win votes for the first gas tax increase in the last 23 years.
“Fixing our roads is basic,” Brown said at a rally Wednesday on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento. “If you don’t do it now it gets more expensive next year and the year after.”
Most of the money, about $33.7 billion, will pay for a backlog of infrastructure repair projects that has grown to $130 billion. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that half the state’s roads are in poor conditions.
Two thirds of legislators, exactly the number needed to raise taxes under California rules, backed the measure. One member of the Assembly returned from the emergency room, where she had been taken after feeling ill, in time to vote.
Only one Republican, state Sen. Anthony Cannella, backed the deal, which provides nearly half a billion in funding for two projects in his Modesto-area districts. Cannella said he and Brown had hammered out a deal at the governor’s mansion just before the vote took place.