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What To Know About Proposition 6

Friday, September 14, 2018

People crossing the street downtown.

In 2017, State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) successfully sponsored Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which raised the State’s gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, raised the annual vehicle registration fee which is based on the value of the vehicle and imposed a $100 registration surcharge on zero-emission vehicles, in order to raise new revenue to fund transportation improvements throughout the State. Following the passage of SB 1, California voters passed a state constitutional amendment in June 2018, Proposition 69, which created a lockbox for SB 1 funds, ensuring these dollars could only be used for transportation purposes.

Since the enactment of SB 1, a measure has qualified for the November 2018 statewide ballot seeking to reverse these approved taxes and fees. Proposition 6 specifically seeks to repeal all SB 1 taxes and fees that would have been assessed after Election Day, and would require statewide voter approval for any proposed future gas, diesel, or vehicle related tax or fee increase.

Revenue from the new gas taxes and fees provides approximately $5 billion per year in annual state transportation funding for the next ten years— a total of over $50 billion. Prior to SB 1, the gas tax was last raised 24 years ago, and had lost much of its purchasing power over the last two decades. SB 1 funding focuses on the backlog of unfunded transportation maintenance, rehabilitation, and safety repairs. Project examples include: transit maintenance, road paving, and bridge repair, among others. California has an estimated transportation backlog of $130 billion.

San Francisco stands to receive over $60 million annually from the new gas taxes and other fee revenue. This includes $30 million to support transit operations, $9.5 million to address our transit maintenance backlog, and $23 million to fund 39 miles of road repaving across the City. In addition, several key state transportation competitive funding programs have all been enhanced by SB 1, which fund investments such as road repaving, new light rail vehicles, bus maintenance facility improvements, and bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements, among others.

In addition to providing new revenue to San Francisco, SB 1 provides significant funding to several major Bay Area transportation initiatives such as the San Jose BART extension ($730M), adding new BART cars ($318M), and new Caltrain cars ($164M), among others.

If Proposition 6 passes, all funds collected prior to Election Day will still be valid. However, the new annual funding streams which will bring in over $5 billion per year to the State and $60 million per year to San Francisco, will no longer be available. Visit the website for more information on SB 1 funded projects throughout the State.