California’s governor and legislative leaders want to raise $52 billion to fix roads through a big increase in the gas tax.

By DON THOMPSON and SOPHIA BOLLAG, Associated Press
March 29, 2017, at 9:11 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s governor and legislative leaders on Wednesday proposed raising $52 billion to fix the state’s roads through a big gasoline tax increase, higher car registration fees and a charge on emission-free vehicles.

The 10-year plan would boost gasoline excise taxes for the first time in more than two decades, raising them 12 cents per gallon — a 43 percent increase. The tax would rise automatically with inflation.

For the first time, owners of zero emission vehicles would pay a $100 annual fee because they use public roads but don’t pay gasoline taxes that fund highway maintenance.

The plan also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less. The fee, separate from annual vehicle registration fees, would range from $25 a year for vehicles worth less than $5,000 to $175 for cars worth $60,000 and up.

Gov. Jerry Brown said the plan would cost most drivers less than $10 per month and would be offset by reduced vehicle-repair expenses. The governor and Democratic legislative leaders hope to rush it through the Legislature next week.

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