The New Gas Tax
About 12 cents extra
California Senate Bill #1 (SB-1) the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 was signed into law. This bill establishes a new gas tax to help fund road repair and maintenance throughout the State.
Old Gas Tax
Under the old gas tax, consumers paid 59.87 cents per gallon in State and Federal taxes. This was a flat tax that never adjusted with inflation and, as costs of road construction rose over the last 40 years, the available funding became less and less able to keep up with the growing cost of road maintenance. The old gas tax was also split unevenly with the majority going to reconstructing the state highway system. Small municipalities like Cloverdale received only enough money to perform minor maintenance projects like pothole repairs. As a result, many of our streets have deteriorated to the point where reconstruction (the most expensive option) is our only option.
New Gas Tax
Under SB-1, the new gas tax added 12 cents per gallon to meet state and local needs. The total tax, 71.87 cents per gallon (State and Federal), puts California on par with other states in the Union.
- Pennsylvania: 77.90 cents per gallon
- California (with SB-1) 71.87 cents per gallon
- Washington: 67.80 cents per gallon
- New York: 62.44 cents per gallon
SB-1 funds will also be split equally between state and local governments which gives local governments a boost that did not exist under the old gas tax.
In Cloverdale, our share of the old gas tax was about $50,000 each year. This only bought minor maintenance work and usually required the city to save up 2 to 3 years' worth of funding to complete a single project. Streets that require reconstruction like Fourth Street, Josephine Street, Tarmen Drive and Clark Avenue would require thecCity to save up more than a decade's worth of funding to complete just one project at the expense of letting the rest of our roads fall apart. Impossible.
Under the new gas tax, the city can expect to get about $150,000 starting in Summer 2019 with funds increasing in following years. This means that it will be possible to fund reconstruction projects where it was impossible before. Stay tuned.