Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law billions of dollars in higher fuel taxes and vehicle fees, the state will have an estimated $52 billion more money to help cover the state’s transportation needs for the next decade.
The money comes largely from a 12-cent increase in the base gasoline excise tax and a new transportation improvement fee based on vehicle value. Other money will come from paying off past transportation loans, Caltrans savings, and new charges on diesel fuel and zero-emission vehicles.
The bulk of the revenue raised will go to various state and local road programs, as well as public transit, goods movement and traffic congestion.
The measure, Senate Bill 1, sets ambitious goals. By the end of 2027, it says least 98 percent of state highway pavement should be in good or fair condition, at least 90 percent of culverts should be in good or fair condition and at least 500 bridges must be fixed.
In June 2018, meanwhile, California voters will get to weigh in on another part of the package: a constitutional amendment supporters say will keep lawmakers from diverting the money to other purposes.
Taxes and fees
Existing: The base excise tax is 18 cents a gallon. A price-based excise tax is currently set at 9.8 cents a gallon, for a total rate of 27.8 cents a gallon.
Nov. 1, 2017: The base excise tax will increase to 30 cents a gallon.
July 1, 2019: The price-based excise tax will reset to 17.3 cents a gallon, about half-a-cent more than the rate the Brown administration projects will be in effect by then anyway.
The 47.3-cent combined excise tax in effect July 1, 2019 will be adjusted for inflation beginning July 1, 2020.
Average annual revenue: $2.4 billion