Ag Today July 16, 2018

Why California business leaders are fighting to save the gas tax increase

BY ALEXEI KOSEFF, The Sacramento Bee

July 16, 2018 12:01 AM

It’s not often the California Chamber of Commerce endorses a tax increase.

You are more likely to see such legislative proposals – on high-income earners, on services, on corporations — make the “job killers” list that the state’s largest business advocacy organization puts out each year to beat back bills it doesn’t like.

But when Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers last year passed a measure raising fees on transportation fuels and vehicle registration to pay for road repairs, it was because CalChamber, and the larger California business community, helped push it across the finish line.

Their support, along with the money and the bully pulpit it brings, will be essential for the coalition waging an uphill campaign to preserve the tax plan. Public polling indicates that California voters are ready to approve an initiative this November that would repeal the 12-cent-per-gallon hike on gasoline, 20-cent-per-gallon increase for diesel and new annual fee for cars based on their value.

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