Effort to repeal California's gas tax begins in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An effort to repeal California's recent gas tax increase and vehicle registration fee kicks off Monday in San Diego with a signature drive.

Organizers of the repeal effort need 584,000 signatures to put the issue on next November's ballot.

SB 1, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown April 28, increases the gasoline excise tax by 12 cents a gallon, the diesel fuel excise tax 20 cents per gallon, the sales tax on diesel to 5.75 percent, and raises the vehicle registration fee $25 - $175, depending on the value of the vehicle on Jan. 1.

The revenue from the tax and registration fee increases will be used to repair roads, highways and bridges and improve public transportation, Brown said, a claim challenged by supporters of the repeal initiative.

Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio said, "People are willing to pay their fair share, but they realize we have the second-highest gas tax in the country before the increase, but yet we have the worst roads."

Organizers have until March to obtain enough signatures to let California voters decide on its fate.

Fix Our Roads, a coalition of business, labor and transportation organizations that supported the bill, said, "California drivers will have safer, less congested roads thanks to SB 1 … Every single community in California will receive funding to make road safety improvements, fill potholes, and repair local streets, freeways, bridges and overpasses. And SB 1 comes with strict accountability requirements to reduce bureaucracy and ensure funds only go to transportation."

Monday's Stop the Gas Tax Initiative signature drive event begins at 2:30 p.m. in front of the KOGO studios (9660 Granite Ridge Drive, San Diego).

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