By Carolyn Cavecche, Orange County Register | You have to give politicians in Sacramento credit. They don’t waste time celebrating their victories before starting their next plan of attack. In last November’s election, California voters chose not to repeal Senate Bill 1. SB1 is what Sacramento insiders know as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Most taxpayers simply refer to SB1 as “the gas tax.”
A state senator from Orange County, Josh Newman, was recalled over his aye vote on SB1, so even though it wasn’t repealed, there was plenty of angst about the tax increase amongst voters.
As a reminder, SB1 raised several taxes and fees. Most importantly to California drivers, it raised the gas tax 12 cents a gallon, reset the price-based excise tax to a fixed amount, raised our vehicle registration fees and placed a new fee on zero emission cars. New fees and taxes will now be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. That means they will go up every year. Motorists will see the reset on the price-based excise tax go into effect this summer. Voters had an opportunity to repeal this tax, but failed to do so.
So just as you are thinking that because they had won the war, they would never think about taxing our gas again, state Sen. Bob Wieckowski, a bankruptcy lawyer by trade, introduces Senate Bill 246. SB246 would impose a 10 percent oil and natural gas severance tax, which equates to an almost $900 million tax increase on Californians. It appears those tax dollars would flow directly into the state’s general fund to be used for anything the majority of legislators would like.
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