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New Poll Shows Californians Would Repeal 12-Cent Gas Tax Hike

On Nov. 1, fuel taxes increased for the first time in 23 years in California. Next November, Californians will likely decide whether to return those taxes to 1994 levels, as well as repeal other tax and fee hikes passed by the legislature in April.
November 15, 2017, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"In a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll conducted online among 1,504 Californians from Oct. 27 to Nov. 6, 54 percent said they would vote to repeal the tax," reports Bob Egelko for the San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 13. That's good news for the two initiatives that hope to repeal the tax and fee increases included in SB 1, the California Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, passed by the legislature in April.

However, the focus of Egelko's article is not polling but a court fight between Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Benjamin Pugh, Allen's attorney. Last month, a Sacramento court ruled in favor of Allen by rejecting a title for his initiative assigned by Becerra. The AG appealed the decision to a state's 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento. The outcome will determine "the official title on the state ballot pamphlet, an important source of voter information," writes Egelko.

[W]ill it start by saying it “repeals taxes” or “eliminates ... revenues” for transportation and road repair?

The stakes couldn't be higher. "The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, invests $52.4 billion over the next decade - split equally between state and local investments," according to the act's webpage.

Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times also reports on the grim poll results for gas tax backers on Nov. 10.

“Put to a popular vote, the gas tax for infrastructure is in trouble,” said Robert Shrum, the director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “I certainly would not want to start out at 47% support if I was in favor of this and there was a ballot measure."

Full Story:
Published on Monday, November 13, 2017 in San Francisco Chronicle
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