04/20/2018

“Get rid of the new gas tax? New poll shows initiative backers have statewide support “

If they get a chance, a majority of California voters would repeal the new statewide gas tax that went into effect last month.

A new poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found 52 percent of likely voters would support an initiative repealing California’s recent increases in gas taxes and vehicle license fees, while 46 percent said they “strongly” support repealing the charges.

Republicans overwhelmingly favor repeal, with 80 percent of them indicating that they’d support rescinding the gas tax.

Meanwhile, 32 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents would vote to repeal the tax.

Voters in the Bay Area are most supportive of the tax increase and transportation improvements it’s projected to fund. Inland California voters especially oppose the tax, and voters in coastal counties narrowly oppose the new charges.

“The Bay Area is a much more liberal-leaning, progressive electorate that I think puts more stock in the greater good. That’s a progressive value, if you believe the greater good is served by this modest increase in gas taxes, versus others who say, ‘I’m already paying too much in taxes, therefore I’m in favor of repeal,’” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll. “It’s not winning a lot of support among voters in the inland counties; that includes Sacramento and the Central Valley.”

Prices at the pump went up 12 cents per gallon last month as a result of the 10-year, $52 billion transportation package approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Gov. Jerry Brown advocated for the bill and signed it in April.

Prices are set to increase again in January 2020 based on inflation, according to state officials. The extra transportation funding is intended to address deferred maintenance for roads, bridges and other infrastructure, as well as support public transportation projects across the state.

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