Vote NO on Prop 6 on the California ballot

By Dan Jacobson
State Director

Photo by Daniel R. Blume, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

If you are worried about climate change, you should vote NO on Prop 6 to stop the repeal on the statewide gas tax increase. We’re asking you to vote no on Prop 6 because it’s imperative that we both use less gas and invest in transportation solutions.

Prop 6 would repeal the recently enacted $0.12 a gallon gas tax increase, the first state gas tax increase in 23 years. That $0.12 a gallon, plus a few other fees, adds up to an average of $5.4 billion a year in revenue for needed transportation projects throughout the state. Our transportation infrastructure needs a lot of upkeep, and that depends on all taxpayers chipping in. (See the excellent “Who Pays for Roads?” Primer by Frontier Group for an in-depth look at transportation funding).

Prop 6 would also require a voter-approved ballot measure to raise fuel or vehicle fees in the future, rather than leaving that decision in the hands of the legislature.

Especially given the most recent dire report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we need to be sending strong signals to consumers to discourage our reliance on gasoline-powered cars. And it’s not just driving less. We need to be investing now in infrastructure that allows us to live our daily lives without burning fossil fuels.

The good news is that the gas tax increase mostly pays for the kind of transportation projects that take us in the right direction, not the wrong direction. The gas tax raises more than $1 billion a year for public transit investments and operations. The vast majority of the rest of the gas tax increase supports road maintenance and repair, including not only fixing potholes and making safety improvements, but also making roads better designed for bikes, pedestrians, and public transit users.

Check out this map of the projects funded by the gas tax increase for more details on which projects in your area would benefit from funding.

We’re not alone. Other transportation advocates we admire and often work with oppose Prop 6, including Transform in the Bay Area and Move LA in Los Angeles, plus environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council and 350.org chapters, and the League of Women Voters.

So please join all of us in voting NO on Prop 6.

This post was co-authored by Emily Rusch, the executive director of CALPIRG and Dan Jacobson, the state director of Environment California.