Gas tax repeal reportedly to go on November ballot

June 25, 2018

It appears California voters may soon get the chance to have their say on the state’s controversial gas tax increase. [Cal Coast Times]

The Sacramento Bee initially reported Monday that an initiative calling for the repeal of state’s recent gas tax hike officially qualified on Friday for the November ballot. Later Monday morning, the Sacramento Bee changed its report, saying the initiative is “poised” to qualify for the ballot. Currently, the California Secretary of State’s Office lists the proposed ballot measure as initiative pending signature verification.

California’s gas tax increase, which took effect last year, raised the base tax on gasoline 12 cents from 18 cents per gallon to 30 cents per gallon. Taxes on diesel increased even more.

The excise tax on diesel increased 20 cents from 16 cents per gallon to 36 cents per gallon, and the diesel sales tax rose from 1.75 percent to 5.75 percent. Additionally, there is a new vehicle registration fee ranging from $25 a year to $175 annually.

A campaign attempting to repeal the tax hike recently turned in more than 900,000 signatures to state elections officials. Approximately 585,000 valid signatures are needed to get a measure on this November’s ballot.

The proposed repeal initiative would not only do away with the gas tax hike, but also require future gas tax and vehicle fee increases to be approved by California voters.

If the measure makes it on the November ballot and is approved by voters, it would reduce state transportation tax revenue by $2.9 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. By 2020-2021, the state would lose $4.9 billion in annual tax revenue, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The gas tax revenue is primarily intended to support state highway maintenance and rehabilitation, local streets and roads and mass transit. It is also supposed to support bicycle path projects.

Critics say the tax hike is compensating for frivolous spending by state legislators, and it amounts to theft from the taxpayer. Republican candidate for governor John Cox is making the gas tax a focal point of his campaign. Cox is also one of the leaders of the gas tax repeal movement.

Earlier this month, during the primary election, Southern California voters recalled a Democratic assemblyman over his vote for the gas tax increase. Voters in the Orange County-dominated district replaced the recalled Democrat with a Republican.

Polls have indicated there would be a competitive campaign if the repeal initiative were to appear on the November ballot. Some poll have suggested the California electorate would vote to repeal the tax increase.

George Bailey


I say repeal, the Democrats never met a tax they didn’t like.


George! Hi! How are you? I see you haven’t loosened that MAGA hat one darn bit…

Here’s some more education for ya’, and don’t worry it isn’t from some dangerous, demented monster Progressive, nope! It’s from Bruce Bartlett, a pretty conservative advisor under the Reagan and George HW’s administrations…

And instead of waiting for your “posse” to answer for you, let me know personally what’s wrong with Mr. Bartlett’s assessment of the real fiscal responsibility of a tax cut that benefits the rich and corporations permanently, while giving us working stiffs a temporary one, that in the long run will end up costing the countries tax payers trillions in budget deficits while benefitting the Republican Party politically for years down the road.

Republican “Bait and Switch” at it’s best, don’t ya think?

Russ J

Currently on business travel in Florida. Gas is about $2.65/gallon. Weather sucks but you can afford to stay in your car with the A/C on. Looking forward to 12 cents less per gallon and lower registration fees next year. Cross your fingers.

Jorge Estrada

All of those promised projects that were programed to start in 2020 (start with study) may not be done because the voters said no to new taxes. Actually, they likely would not get done anyway because the law requires unmet commitments to be funded first (pensions). Just say no, after all Southern California is the bench mark of what is to be everywhere. Just by bigger wheels and more suspension as already needed on many local roads.

Mitch C

The State of CA is run by idiots. Take for example the DMV; long lines, ridiculous waiting times. If the DMV were to register vehicles for a two year period rather than each year it would reduce their workload by about 30% while increasing their revenue by over 25% (some would renew their registration for the two years but sell or trade their vehicle after one year giving the DMV re ensue for the old two years (although only one was used) and get revenue from the new registration.


Just paid mine here in Oregon, my vehicle registration, cost me $112 for two years, and it took me all of about 20 minutes to get it done with no appointment at the local ODMV office (it’s even better for new vehihles). Arizona was even better when I resided there; $84 for 5 years, $12.50 for DL that last upwards of 25 years (mine was 21 years), and insurance was even better, $14 a month for full coverage on my LandCruiser. I did all that at the office in Parker, except the insurance, in about 15 or 20 minutes without an appointment.

I guess it’s worth livin’ in Cali’? Maybe not? Well at least you got the smog, crowds, congestion, crime, dirty cops, son-on-and-so-forth! You’re taxed to hell and back too, huh? No sales tax here, extremely low property tax (about $15 on every thousand), you get someone to pump your gas for you (it’s the law here, except if a station is closed after dark and chooses to allow self-serve during those hours), which creates a ton of jobs, fairly well payin’ jobs too.

Oh yea, and there’s all this too!


Did I hear you ask about gas prices here where I live? High of about $3.49gal, low about $3.01gal, average about $3.29. And SLO is what, average of about $3.89gal? Damn! No wonder you folks have so much road rage down there, I’d be pissed too payin’ them there prices…

Location, location, location….


Here’s something else you brought up Mitch; Cali’ is the only state that I’ve resided in, 8 in all, that charges a new owner of a used car that has a current up-to-date paid registration to re-up on the registration at the time of transferring the title, and they won’t allow you to pay for the new registration even if you wanted to if it’s more than 120 days out from expiring. Also, the fee here for bringing in a vehicle from another state and re-titling it is $7 (plus the registration), that’s it! Cali’ starts off at $58, then adds $25 for a CHP fee, then adds anywhere from $25 to $175, depending on the value of the vehicle, for a Transportation Improvement Fee (TIF), right? Jeeez!

Location, location, location…


I would like to see what the state brings in in honest numbers from just the gas tax and dmv registration fees, but we’ll never know. By comparison to other states Ca screws its people by 400% more for a one year tag then others charge for a multiple year tag. Justified by what? the need for road repairs from heavy use because of the population of Ca? Based off the population of Ca and it drivers and vehicles there is plenty of money to fix and maintain the roads. Maybe 50% of the population isn’t paying for registration or insurance?? Ca’s own people who demand endless enviro regs are largely to blame for the unnecessary permits, studies and cost of doing business creating the outrageous prices of construction in Ca so we have shot ourselves in the foot so to say. Youve been in the gov sector, you know a screw job when you see one. Look at your average Caltrans job site. Ten times the bodies and equipment to do what a good contractor does with 20% of the cost. There is no doubt where the bucks are going and not not to new roads or rest stops.

Mitch C

The State of CA has collected billions more in taxes than their budget calls for; how can the CA government ethically, morally or legally take more money from It’s residents, even with the waste and bloat, than is required to operate?

Rich in MB

Repeal the Gas Tax….then add in a new Internet Sales Tax…the Beast is going to get their money folks. These Pensions and Perks for Public Employees are blood thirsty for your tax dollars.


Good! I’ve read reports that we have wasted gasoline taxes on public pensions and other Democrat spending.


“Prior to 2009, Democrats voted almost universally in support of benefit increases—but so did Republicans. Specifically, Democrats supported benefit increases at a rate of 98%, and Republicans went along, supporting increases at a rate of 93%. After the scope of conflict expanded, Democratic support remained about the same (98.5%)—but Republican “yes” votes plummeted to 69%.” – Brookings Institute

It was only after the crash of ’08 did the Republican Party become so concerned about this dilemma that they actually didn’t go along with the Democrats with benefit increases, but only to a smaller extent rather than unilaterally opposing any increases. So, to say it is solely a “Democrat created problem” just doesn’t hold water. This was and still is a bipartisan created dilemma, one that won’t go away if we keep pointin’ fingers rather then doin’ something together about.

Can I ask where you read that at? Thanks.


Never mind about the source, I’ve found it. Thanks!