Prop 6: GOP-Backed Effort to Repeal New Gas Tax That Funds California’s Major Road Repair Program

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A Shell gas station is seen on July 26, 2018, in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Shell gas station is seen on July 26, 2018, in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Proposition 6, if approved, would keep more money in Californians' wallets by stopping the state from bringing in some $5 billion in annual tax revenue that was approved just last year as part of Senate Bill 1, a massive transportation package supported by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Without the funds – from a 12-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline, a 4 percent diesel tax increase, and new vehicle-related fees – it's not clear how the state will pay for planned repairs to roads and highways.

Many Republicans who support Prop 6 say the funds are being misspent, a charge denied by Democratic leaders in the California Legislature.

Related: A Guide to the Propositions on the Nov. 6 Ballot in California, From the Gas Tax Repeal to Daylight Saving Time

Voting “yes” means the repeal of a 12-cent-per-gallon sales tax increase on gasoline that funds a massive $130 billion transportation package enacted by lawmakers in 2017 to repair highways and roads and fund mass transit.

The proposition would also nix a 4 percent tax hike on diesel,  the new annual “transportation improvement fee” ($25 to $175) added to drivers’ registration payments, as well as the $100 fee charged yearly to owners of zero-emission vehicles.

Voting “no” means keeping the gas tax to fund repair and maintenance of highways, bridges and other transportation projects.

Supporters – Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox and GOP leaders in Congress spent $1.7 million to place the repeal on the ballot. The Southern California News Group editorial board endorses Prop 6. Cox, who is chairman of the Proposition 6 committee, is supporting the measure as part of his campaign for governor.

Opponents – Democrats, along with labor unions and construction companies that stand to benefit from transportation projects, have raised millions of dollars to defeat the repeal. The California Chamber of Commerce and the League of California Cities also oppose Prop 6.

“Sure, you might save $1.50 every time you fill up your sedan,” the L.A. Times editorial board argues. “But you’ll spend a lot more repairing tires, alignment, shocks and other parts caused by driving on potholed and damaged roads.” The board calls it “a ballot measure only a pothole could love.”

The San Diego-Union Tribune and the Sacramento Bee editorial boards also oppose Prop 6.

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