Senator Morrell Statement on Senate's Passage of Largest Gas Tax Increase in State History

Thursday, April 6, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) issued the following statement after senators voted to permanently increase the gas tax and car fees on California drivers:

“Today, Sacramento politicians approved the largest gas tax increase in state history. All told, California motorists, who already pay among the highest gas taxes in the country, will now have to pay even more.

“Where has all the gas tax money gone in the first place? Consider this trend:

  • In 2002, voters passed Proposition 42 confining the sales tax on gasoline to transportation purposes only. But shortly after, legislators found a way to siphon off that money.
  • In 2006, voters responded with Proposition 1A, limiting the legislature’s ability to suspend Proposition 42. Then the Democrat-controlled legislature used accounting schemes to pay off bonds instead of build up our highways.
  • In 2010, citizens passed Proposition 22, prohibiting gasoline excise tax funds from being used to pay for debt. Now the legislature diverts $1 billion a year from weight fees to the general state budget.

“These are not the only broken promises made to Californians. The $1 billion in lottery funds meant to fix education? Students are struggling and schools need more. And water storage? Since 1996, voters have approved over $25 billion in bonds, yet we have no new dams and our infrastructure is failing.

“Californians simply want transportation fees and taxes to fund our roads and highways. This tax increase still does not deliver on that basic expectation. $100 million goes to bike trails and walkways – not roads. $750 million goes to public transit – not roads.

“Voters have made it clear they want their money used effectively, efficiently, and honestly. Instead, what they will get are higher taxes and a state that will become even more unaffordable for working families. Today should mark the demise of one-party rule in California.”