Governor Brown's proposes bill to increase gas tax, vehicle registration fees

Senate scheduled to vote on bill Thursday
Posted at 5:46 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 20:46:49-04

Since the beginning of this year, gas prices have gone up by 24 cents a gallon and if democratic lawmakers get their way, there may be another increase at the pump.  

Local college student, Braulio Lopez said right now, he's happy with the price of gas. 

"Right now, it's pretty good filling up your tank," said Lopez. 

But a new bill proposed by Governor Jerry Brown may raise the prices at the pump. 

The 10-year plan aims to raise $52 billion to fix the roads through a 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase, higher registration fees and a $100 charge on emission free vehicles.

"12 cents adds up pretty quick," said Lopez.

Lopez said he’d like to see the roads get fixed, but doesn’t know if increasing taxes is the right answer.

              Bakersfield representative and state Assembly Member Vince Fong is a vocal opponent of the proposed increase. 

“I’m not convinced that this is the right solution for transportation issues in the state," said Fong. 

Instead of hiking up the tax, he would like to see the legislature use all transportation funds to repair the damaged roads.  

"We already pay one of the highest gas taxes in the nation," said Fong.

State officials estimate the tax package will cost the average motorist $10 per month.

Something Governor Brown says is necessary.

“This is a fee – a fee for the privilege of driving on our roads that the people paid for and we got to keep paying for them otherwise they’re not going to work for us. It’s just that simple," said Brown.

Back at the pump here locally, for college student Lopez who is on a budget, at this point, he’s not fully prepared to stand behind the increase. 

“Try to get the funds from somewhere else, and if they can’t, if it’s not possible, then resort to the gas tax for the last option.”           

The state Senate is expected to vote on the proposal Thursday and if it passes, it will head to the Atate Assembly.