SACRAMENTO - Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today issued the following statement regarding Governor Brown's signing of Senate Bill 1, the transportation proposal recently passed by the legislature that imposes $52 billion in permanent new gas taxes and user fees on motorists.
"Governor Brown didn't just sign a bill today, he launched an assault against every business and family in the state. If he thinks that the people are going to lay down and take this without a fight he's gravely mistaken.
"I will be exploring every possible avenue to repeal the gas tax, whether it's through legislation, an initiative to change or eliminate other gas taxes, or other courses of action. I am going to fight to overturn this unfair and regressive tax and get some justice for the California families and businesses that are getting nickeled and dimed to death.
"The Governor has compared fixing our roads with the urgency of fixing a leaky roof. Well guess what Governor Brown, Californians have already paid to fix the roof but the repairs have not been made and we're all wondering why we're left paying for the same service twice.
"And how are the people supposed to believe that this money will actually go to transportation? Currently, the state is diverting a billion dollars in weight fees away from roads every year. According to a recent Legislative Analyst's Office report, CalTrans is overstaffed by 3,500 people wasting $500 million of road money every year. Why would anyone believe that this new tax isn't a bait and switch sham where the funds won't be diverted to pay for pet projects like the High Speed Rail boondoggle?
"We already have some of the highest gas taxes and worst roads in the country. For years we've starved transportation when we've had many billions in surplus, even though it was supposedly a 'system in crisis.' It's really a crisis of political will and honesty. Before we take a single penny from Californians in new taxes, it is our duty to make 100-percent certain that we are spending the money we already collect exclusively on road repair and construction. Senate Bill 1 failed to do that and I'm going to make every attempt to make it right."