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Furor over gas-tax hike shows no sign of easing

May 8, 2017

By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $52 billion road repair program question whether money raised by higher gas taxes and vehicle fees could be siphoned off to fill gaps in the state’s general fund…

According to Palmer, the state Constitution bars tapping current gas taxes and vehicle registration fees for general-fund uses. The new fees in Brown’s program will be similarly restricted under a constitutional amendment headed for the June 2018 ballot, Palmer said.

So what’s to keep the state, which will start collecting the new fees in January, from diverting funds ahead of the June vote?

“The governor’s veto pen,” said Palmer…

Of course, all that could be moot if Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach (Orange County), has his way. He has just announced a petition drive for a November 2018 ballot initiative to repeal the governor’s transportation package.

Once he gets the green light on the language from the attorney general, Allen and his allies will have 215 days to collect 365,880 signatures of registered voters. He says he’s “absolutely” confident he’ll get there, given the response he’s gotten out the gate… (more)

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