How Control of Congress Could Swing on a Fight to Repeal California’s Gas Tax Image

By Adam Nagourney : nytimes – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — It was enacted by the thinnest of margins: A 12-cent gasoline tax passed by lawmakers last year to finance a multi-billion-dollar campaign to repair California roads and bridges hobbled by years of neglect and disrepair.

But the tax, which took effect in November, is now the subject of a major battle with far-reaching implications for the state’s transportation network and the Democratic campaign to seize control of Congress in November. A measure to repeal the gas tax will appear on the California ballot, championed by Republicans opposed to it but looking to drive up Republican turnout in battleground congressional races…

The repeal has also shaped up as the last political battle for Gov. Jerry Brown, 80, a Democrat who is retiring after nearly a half a century in public life. Mr. Brown, in an interview, left no doubt he would fight to save the tax, pledging to raise well over $25 million in what is likely to be the latest in a history of expensive initiative campaigns that have long defined the state’s political and policy landscape…

Mr. Brown just signed his final budget, which projects a $6.1 billion surplus, money that Republicans are arguing should be used for road repairs instead of the gas tax and keep Californians from paying more at the pump… (more)

This fight is just heating up as the public is not even aware of this yet. Wait till the media gets to spin this. Traffic and parking are a nightmare. Who do you blame if not the people in charge of the roads? Much will be said about the billions going into the governor’s two pet projects, speed rail and water tunnels.

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