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Signatures gathered to put gas tax repeal vote on November ballot

Signatures gathered to put gas tax repeal vote on November ballot
Posted at 7:10 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 10:10:10-04

NORWALK (ABC 7 BAY AREA) -- A fight to repeal the state gas tax hike that went into effect last November could be on its way to the ballot box.

Supporters of the gas tax repeal effort say they've gathered more than 940,000 signatures statewide - surpassing the requirement of 584,000 signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

The initiative would repeal SB 1 - the vehicle fee and gas tax signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"The voters of this state are going to get a chance to get rid of this tax in November," said John Cox, a state Republican gubernatorial candidate and chairman of Give Voters a Voice, the gas-tax repeal effort.

Cox helped file more than 200,000 signatures Monday afternoon at the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters in Norwalk. The remainder are being turned over to officials in seven counties Monday and Tuesday to be validated.

"I think that's great. It should be repealed because the prices they have nowadays you can't really go anywhere, do anything as the prices rise," said Losey Fletcher, a Long Beach resident, as she filled up her gas tank.

The gas tax hike hit drivers starting Nov. 1, with a 12-cent-a-gallon increase and a 20-cent-per-gallon hike to the diesel tax.

Starting Jan. 1 annual vehicle fee increases started, ranging from $25 for a car valued at under $5,000 to $175 for cars worth $60,000 or more. Electric car owners who don't pay gas taxes will be billed a $100 annual fee starting in 2020.

"It's very expensive now," said Maria Bautista, Stanton resident. "I'm staying at home instead of going on vacation now."

"The studies have shown this gas tax will cost the average family about $800 extra a year," said Bill Essayli, a state Assembly candidate, speaking outside the Registrar of Voters in Norwalk.

Supporters of SB 1 say repealing the tax will save the average driver only $10 a month, while SB 1 raises more than $5 billion a year for the first 10 years and more after that to help fix roads and bridges and improve mass transit.

"Four thousand projects are being implemented across every community in California,' said Kristine Guerrero, League of California Cities public affairs manager. "That's filling potholes, that's fixing bridges, that's paving streets and synchronizing traffic lights."

"They've been saying that for so many years and nothing ever gets done,' said driver James Jansto of Los Alamitos.

Those against the repeal effort have countered with Proposition 69 on the June ballot. Supporters say it will make sure transportation money is not touched by the Legislature and that dollars stay in local communities.