California Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a plan to raise $52 billion to fix California roads, during a news conference Wednesday in Sacramento. The 10-year plan would boost the gasoline excise tax by 12 cents a gallon along with higher registration fees and a $100 charge on emission-free vehicles. Rich Pedroncelli (AP)

By Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/03/17 – 8:25 PM PDT |

Gov. Jerry Brown is bringing his pitch for a $52 billion transportation funding plan to Riverside.

The governor will be at North Park on Tuesday, April 4, to hold a press conference on the plan to raise taxes and fees to fix the state’s ailing roads.

He will be joined by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount; Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside; and a host of local elected leaders, including Riverside County supervisors Chuck Washington and John Tavaglione; Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey; Corona Mayor Dick Haley; and council members from Perris and Moreno Valley.

Brown, Rendon and state Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, are trying to rally the votes needed to pass the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which seeks to tackle a road repair backlog exceeding $130 billion.

To do that, the legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, and Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, would raise the state’s gas excise tax by 12 cents a gallon. It also would raise the diesel excise tax by 20 cents a gallon and boost the diesel sales tax by 5.75 percent.

Money also would come from a new fee based on a vehicle’s worth. Those worth $5,000 or less would be charged $25 a year while owners of vehicles worth $60,000 or more would pay $175 annually.

Zero-emission vehicles would be subject to a $100-a-year fee. In all, the bill would cost most drivers less than $10 a month, according to the governor’s office.

The taxes and fees are expected to raise $52.4 billion over 10 years. A constitutional amendment would require the money to be spent on transportation.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 5-2 along party lines Monday to send the bill to the Senate floor. A full vote could come later this week.

The governor and the bill’s supporters argue California’s transportation infrastructure is in dire need of repairs and that if nothing is done, drivers will pay in the form of higher maintenance costs from hitting potholes.

“Yes, it costs money,” Brown, a Democrat, told reporters last week. “And if the roof in your house is leaking, you better fix it, because it gets worse all the time.”

To read expanded article, click here.