California Senate Bill #1 (SB-1) the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 has been signed into law. This Bill establishes a new gas tax to help fund road repair and maintenance throughout the State.
Under the old gas tax, consumers paid and extra 59.87 cents per gallon in State and Federal taxes. This was a flat tax that never adjusted with inflation and, as costs of road construction rose over the last 40 years, the available funding became less and less able to keep up with the growing cost of road maintenance.
Under SB-1, the new gas tax (State and Federal) totals 71.87 cents per gallon which puts California on par with other states in the Union.
Pennsylvania: 77.90 cents/gallon
California (with SB-1) 71.87 cents/gallon
Washington: 67.80 cents/gallon
New York: 62.44 cents/gallon
SB-1 funds will also be split equally between State and local governments which gives local governments a boost that did not exist under the old gas tax.
In Cloverdale, our share of the old gas tax was about $50,000 each year. This only bought minor maintenance work and usually required the City to save up 2-3 years worth of funding to complete a single project. Streets that require reconstruction like Fourth Street, Josephine Street and Clark Avenue would require the City to save up more than a decade's worth of funding to complete just one project at the expense of letting the the rest of our roads fall apart. Impossible.
Under the new gas tax, the City can expect to get about $150,000 starting in Summer 2019 with funds increasing in following years. This means that it will be possible to fund reconstruction projects where it was impossible before. We still have to start small, we'll still only get about $50,000 in 2018, but things are looking up.