Gas Tax Backlash: Putting the brakes on new gas tax hike - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gas Tax Backlash: Putting the brakes on new gas tax hike

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday continued to push his plan to increase the gasoline tax to pay for repairs for California's crumbling roads, but consumer advocates pushed back saying Californians already pay too much for gas.

The 10-year plan would boost gasoline excise taxes for the first time in more than two decades, raising them 12 cents per gallon - a 43 percent increase. The tax would rise automatically with inflation.

For the first time, owners of zero emission vehicles would pay a $100 annual fee because they use public roads but don't pay gasoline taxes that fund highway maintenance.

The plan also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less. The fee, separate from annual vehicle registration fees, would range from $25 a year for vehicles worth less than $5,000 to $175 for cars worth $60,000 and up.

The plan would raise $52 billion.

"California roads are deteriorating, So we got to fix them. If we don't get this road bill this year, I'm very concerned that we won't ever get it And I'll tell you why because it's not going to get any cheaper," Governor Brown.

Gov. Jerry Brown said the plan would cost most drivers less than $10 per month and would be offset by reduced vehicle-repair expenses.

Liza Tucker, consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, said Californians are "paying 65 cents or 70 more a gallon and there's no excuse for it. So the idea of putting this on the consumers is really an outrage."

Consumer advocates said Californians have been paying billions of dollars more for gasoline.

"The question is: who picks up the tab and how is that going to be structured? I think rushing this legislation through as written is extremely problematic. I am hopeful that the legislature will not do it," said Tucker.

In 2015, Californians paid $10 billion more than the rest of the country, and $2.30 a-gallon more than the rest of the country.

The bill was approved in a 5-2 party-line vote by California's Senate Appropriations Committee. It will be voted on Thursday by the state Senate.

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