SHERMAN OAKS, CALIFORNIA — Gas prices are increasing this week, during a time of year Southern Californians usually see them drop, and it is all because of a new state tax.
Due to the new gas tax, the price is going to rise by 12 cents a gallon for gasoline and 16 cents for diesel. On Wednesday, it is officially going into effect. You may not notice this bump too much at first. However, people have to fill up on gas quite frequently. Over time, those little 12-cent expenditures are going to add up.
Where will the gas tax revenue go?
All the extra money is going to translate into roughly $52 billion of revenue for the state over the next decade. It will go to a variety of projects, including public transit, road programs, and traffic congestion projects. This is one of the current administration’s many aims when it comes to public works in the state.
One of the aims is to have 98 percent of the state highway sidewalks in good or fair condition by the end of 2027. Sidewalks across the state are in disrepair, which just exacerbates California’s already heavy reliance on cars. The Governor is making walkability, and by extension livability, a high priority for his administration. I, for one, am glad to see the changes come to fruition over the next decade.
The gas tax is just the beginning of some cost increases. On January 1, 2018, there will be a new annual fee based on a car’s worth, and starting from 2020, there will be a $100 annual fee on electric cars as well.
The state is just one of more than 20 states that have passed gas tax increases over the last five years to help with road improvements. Californians are not alone with the new tax.