Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner
"Leave it to elite, cosmopolitan Democrats to try and raise the gas tax on working-class and poor Californians who must travel further distances to work."
Senate and Assembly Republicans Joint Statement
“Californians already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the nation. The transportation proposal announced by the Capitol Democrats is a costly and burdensome plan that forces ordinary Californians to bail out Sacramento for years of neglecting our roads. This proposal would include the largest gas tax increase in state history, which will continue to rise over time, and a massive increase to the diesel tax and vehicle license fee.
“Our state has become increasingly unaffordable for ordinary Californians. We can fix our roads and bridges by simply ensuring that the billions of dollars that drivers are already paying in transportation fees and taxes are actually used for transportation purposes, rather than being swept into the state’s General Fund. We strongly urge the Legislature to reject this historic tax hike in favor of our responsible plan that fixes our roads without raising taxes and fees.”
Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller
"California Democrats want to push higher taxes on hardworking families. Residents living in the Golden State already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the country yet our roads are sorely neglected and overrun by potholes. This new proposal by the majority party will further hurt our pocketbooks. Worse, it does not even ensure that the new taxes and fees will really go to repairing our roads, highways and bridges.
"This is the wrong approach that would hurt ordinary Californians. I would like to commend Assemblyman Fong, who has offered a sensible and responsible transportation solution in AB 496. His proposal would ensure that our transportation dollars are used for transportation projects."
Senator Jim Nielsen, Republican Budget Vice Chair
"$52 billion in new tax increases is what we will be forking over to the government. Negotiated behind closed doors, this is the largest gas tax increase in the state's history.
"The gas tax and car tax will certainly hurt ordinary people.
"We pay some of the highest taxes in the nation. What have we gotten for our money? Where is the accountability for government to spend our hard-earned tax dollars?"
Senator Mike Morrell
"In 2002, Californians clearly told politicians through Proposition 42 that they wanted gas taxes to be used for transportation purposes only. Over the years, through legislative maneuver after legislative maneuver, these funds were stolen and diverted elsewhere, and now Democrat leaders are asking drivers for more of our money.
"Gas taxes in California are already among the nation's highest, yet our roads are in some of the worst shape. Drivers have every right to conclude that simply throwing additional taxes at the problem will not improve our highways.
"The ripple effect of these tax increases will be felt throughout the economy. As the cost of shipping goods goes up, so will the cost of living here. Families will see prices rise on everyday essentials from groceries to school supplies. Our state is already unaffordable for too many Californians. New taxes will only make the situation worse.
"Ronald Reagan once characterized government's view of the economy this way: 'If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.' With tax increases as their go-to solution for everything, Democrat leaders continue to prove his words true."
Senator Scott Wilk
"More taxes are not the answer to our transportation problems. In fact, Republican legislators have a plan to repurpose $6 billion to road maintenance and construction to fix our roads without raising taxes a single cent.
Californians already pay the highest taxes in the nation taxes toward our roads, but Democrats in the Legislature have redirected, repurposed and redistributed our money to pork-barrel projects and gubernatorial pipe-dreams like high speed rail, rather than taking action on our failing roads.
The 21st Senate District, with its nearly 200,000 daily commuters, is impacted the most by our dilapidated highways and likewise we'll be hit hardest by any tax hikes. I will continue to fight to protect the pocketbooks of my constituents and to fight attempts to raise their taxes. We need reforms, not another money grab."
Senator Jeff Stone
"Only in California do the Democrats celebrate with a press conference and get giddy about Raising Your Taxes!
"Former Governor Gray Davis was recalled for increasing the car tax, and now, adding insult to injury, Democrats want to increase the gas tax motorists pay, which is already among the highest in the nation.
"This so-called plan is the latest assault on working class people the Democrats claim to represent and will make many hard-working Californians, including our seniors, choose between food and gas or medicine and gas.
"One thing we can all agree on - California's roads and bridges are in terrible shape. Californians have known this for decades.
"In 2002 voters passed Proposition 42 -0 with 69 percent of the vote -- because it promised taxes and fees paid by drivers would be used for maintaining and expanding California's roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure."
Senator Ted Gaines
"Is anyone shocked that the proposed solutions to a very real transportation infrastructure crisis are more taxes and fees? It's all Sacramento knows and it's a tired formula that punishes taxpayers for the sins of the politicians.
"We already have some of the highest gas taxes and worst roads in the country, made even more apparent by the potholes and sinkholes from recent storms. High Speed Rail needs to be put out of its misery before families pay another penny in gas taxes. The California Department of Transportation is overstaffed by 3,500 people, wasting $500 million every year. Cut that fat before forcing people to pay a new registration fee for their cars. California diverts a billion dollars in weight fees away from transportation infrastructure every single year. Let's put that money back into road building before shaking down commuters and businesses even more.
"Californians are getting thirty-three cents on the dollar for their transportation spending and pay about three times the national average per mile of road maintenance. That begs for regulatory reform so that meaningless red tape doesn't get in the way of delivering infrastructure at a cost that's fair to taxpayers. Why is it that California spends nearly $50,000 in administration per state-controlled road mile while Texas only spends $4,000? Should our bureaucracy really cost 12-times more than theirs?
"The new Washington, D.C. is proposing a massive infrastructure investment, common-sense, money-saving regulatory reforms, and cutting taxes - all at the same time. California needs to follow Washington's lead instead of continuing to reach into hard- working taxpayers' pockets to deliver the same pathetic results."
Assemblyman Marc Steinorth
“The Democrat Leadership just introduced a ‘landmark’ transportation plan. Unfortunately, their proposal has more holes than our crumbling freeways. After years of neglect and one rainy winter, California’s roads and interstates are literally falling apart.
Our State continually ranks near to last in road maintenance. These bad roads mean we spend more on repairing our cars. Meanwhile, the Legislature continues to funnel billions in transportation fees into the General Fund for other purposes, leaving cities and communities on the hook for road repairs they cannot afford.
Californians need a guarantee that all transportation-related fees will be devoted to transportation. In my district, Interstate 10 and 15 are major truck routes for goods and services. Stealing weight fees and adding them to the General Fund mean fewer repairs for run-down roads and freeways. If transportation dollars went where they should, high taxes on gasoline and registration fees wouldn’t be necessary.”
Assemblyman Phillip Chen
"This new plan is an affront to the hard-working taxpayers of California.
While everyday Californians are struggling to make ends meet, the Legislature wants to unjustly raise fuel taxes and levy higher registration fees on drivers. This is wrong and I will not support such a plan.
That's why I'm a proud co-author AB 496 which redirects $5.6 billion back to repairing roads, which is done without raising taxes. The bill is built on three principles: California's working class should not unfairly shoulder the cost; all money collected from motorists must go to transportation and not to unrelated general fund priorities; and we must work to cut bureaucratic red tape standing in the way of building new roads.
Californians deserve common sense solutions not more government."