Candidates for governor in favor of gas tax to fix CA roads, bridges

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California’s highways, roads, dams, and bridges are in bad shape and getting worse, and the six leading candidates to become the state’s next governor all agree that something must be done – with four of those six candidates in favor of generating much-needed revenues through the state’s gas tax.

Concerned with the state’s infrastructure shortfall, Gov. Jerry Brown took action and signed into law The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1) to generate $5.4 billion a year for road and bridge repairs by raising the state gas tax by 12 cents a gallon. SB1 funds are already at work repairing the state’s infrastructure and generating jobs in communities across California.

State Treasurer John Chiang, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former state schools chief Delaine Eastin, and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa all believe the state needs more cash to deal with Californian’s concerns quickly — and all support the SB 1 gas tax solution:

John Chiang: “Increasing the gas tax for the first time since 1994 has helped create a permanent revenue stream to provide some of the billions of dollars needed to repair deteriorating roads and bridges. Gas tax revenue will directly improve the roads and highways Californians use every day. However, it’s critical that any revenue is used exclusively for transportation infrastructure.”

Gavin Newsom: Newsom supports the gas tax and calls the SB 1 vote by legislative Democrats and a handful of Republicans “a profile in courage,” considering voters hate taxes of all types. “We have to talk about the projects being built and completed to win over voters. We have to get projects done quickly and prove that those dollars won’t get wasted.”

Delaine Eastin: “Money from the tax is a crucial part of any effort to repair California roads and bridges. It’s important to make people realize that the money from the gas tax will go right back to them in the form of better roads and improved transportation.”

Antonio Villaraigosa: Villaraigosa supports the tax which he says “provides much-needed money for road repairs.” But he also has some concerns: “We can’t spend it on other things when times are bad. It’s got to be used to repair our roads, bridges and highways,” he argued. He also says “the state needs to look at additional ways to raise the money needed.”

The two top Republicans in the race, Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen and venture capitalist John Cox view the problem differently. They say the state should be able to do more with less, and side with anti-tax conservatives in pushing for a repeal of the gas tax increase.

Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. It enhances our overall quality of life and supports individuals’ employment and their families’ well-being. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We continue to work closely with other advocates to seek more funding at the state, regional and local levels.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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