Road Builders chief frames user fee case in wake of California gas tax vote

Sources: American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Negative election day response to a proposed roll back of a 2017 California Senate measure increasing state gasoline taxes by 12 cents/gallon elicited a strong defense of user fee-based funding models from ARTBA Acting President & CEO William Toohey, Jr.: “By soundly rejecting Proposition 6 and re-electing 95 percent of the state legislators who voted in 2017 to increase the state gas tax to fund needed transportation improvements, California voters showed the public continues to support a user funded approach to infrastructure investment. That’s a message the Trump administration and new Congress should heed as they consider a bipartisan infrastructure package and permanent revenue solution for Highway Trust Fund programs next year.”

“In ginning up and funding the Prop. 6 repeal initiative as a ‘get out the vote’ ploy, the U.S. House Republican leadership nearly deprived California citizens and businesses of transportation congestion relief projects,” he added. “That was both wrong and short-sighted.”

By letting Senate Bill 1 stand, notes the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Californians will see a) an estimated $5.4 billion annual investment for state transportation systems over the next 10 years and funding for more than 6,500 bridge and road safety projects; and, b) lower fuel consumption and vehicle wear attributable improved road conditions and traffic management.