Fong laments new gas tax increase

Assemblyman Vince Fong, vice chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, issued the following statement on the gas and vehicle license fee increase that took effect Wednesday.

In April this year, the Democratic supermajority approved Senate Bill 1, which enacted a $5.2-billion annual gas tax increase, which will go up automatically with inflation in perpetuity.The gas tax increase is the largest in state history.

“Today starts the day in which California drivers will be forced to bail out Sacramento for a transportation crisis that was created by Sacramento Democrats.

“For decades, they diverted many billions of transportation dollars to the general fund. The most egregious part of this gas tax increase is that almost none of it will go toward traffic congestion relief and at least 30 percent of the new tax will automatically go toward projects entirely unrelated to road repairs,” he said.

“We should not make California even more unaffordable for hardworking families to live and work here.

“I introduced a prudent and responsible transportation plan that would fully fund our road infrastructure without raising any taxes.

“The main principle of the plan required all transportation dollars to actually go to transportation projects—this is common sense.”

Senate Bill 1 does the following:

• Nov. 1 — impose an initial 12 cent-per-gallon gas tax increase.

• Nov. 1 — jump 20 cents a gallon in the base diesel fuel tax. The diesel sales tax goes up from 1.75 percent to 5.75 percent.

• Jan. 1, 2018 — cause drivers to pay higher vehicle registration fees. They can expect an increase of $25 to $175 depending on the value of their car.

• July 1, 2019 — raise gas excise taxes to 47.3 cents a gallon, an increase of 19.5 cents a gallon compared to when the gas tax law was enacted.

• July 1, 2020 — impose a $100 annual registration fee for zero-emission vehicles.

All of these fees and taxes will be increased annually for inflation.

Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th Assembly District, encompassing most of Kern County including the communities of Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, China Lake, Frazier Park, Golden Hills, Inyokern, Lebec, Oildale, Ridgecrest, Taft and Tehachapi

Story First Published: 2017-11-03