In California, a state known for its love of driving, high-priced gasoline and history of tax revolts, a rebellion is brewing against Gov. Jerry Brown’s massive gas-and-car tax increase.
In the two weeks since the Democrat signed Senate Bill 1, opponents have launched an initiative drive to repeal the $52.4 billion transportation package as well as a recall campaign to eject a vulnerable Democratic state senator who is seen as the deciding vote for the law.
“The voters are enraged,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, the Orange County Republican behind the repeal initiative, which is pegged to the November 2018 ballot.
Gas is already expensive in California — the state vies with Hawaii for the nation’s highest per-gallon prices — and SB1 will make it more so by dinging motorists with a 12-cent-per-gallon excise tax hike on gasoline, a 20-cent increase on diesel and higher vehicle registration fees in order to fill potholes, repair roads and bridges, and expand mass transit.
What has Mr. Allen fuming is that lawmakers pushed through the largest fuel tax hike in state history without bringing it before the voters. Instead, they cobbled together a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Democrat-controlled Legislature with no votes to spare.