Proposition 6 and the New Gas Tax
UPDATE: On November 6, 2018, voters will have a chance to repeal the new gas tax (SB-1) through Proposition 6. The City Council, on September 13, 2018 expressed opposition to Proposition 6. Details are available here: Read More
If SB-1 is repealed, the tax dollars Cloverdale receives for local roads will be reduced back to the "pot hole only" levels of maintenance we have experienced over the last 20+ years. Streets like Fourth Street, Josephine, Antonio, Clark and Tarmen will have to remain as they are until some other funding is found. Federal funding cannot help us. Current Federal funding programs have been earmarked for reconstruction of our Federal Highway system and not local roads. The City can qualify for, and has received, Federal funding to add sidewalks and handicap ramps but none of this funding will pay to reconstruct streets that desperately need it like Fourth Street, Josephine, Antonio, Clark and Tarmen. If you think the Federal Government will reconstruct Cloverdale's streets if we just ask, think again.
The only other source of tax dollars available for street reconstruction projects is our General Fund. These are the same tax dollars that fund the Police Department, light our streets at night, and support our Senior Center, Library and the Chamber of Commerce. Paying for road reconstruction with General Fund dollars would force the City to reduce funding to these other essential services.
When you go to the polls in November, please remember what that extra 12 cents in gas tax can do for Cloverdale.
The New Gas Tax - What it costs you
About 12 cents extra.
California Senate Bill #1 (SB-1) the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 was 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 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. The old gas tax was also split unevenly with the majority going to reconstructing the State highway system. Small municipalities like Cloverdale received only enough money to perform minor maintenance projects like pothole repairs. As a result, many of our streets have deteriorated to the point where reconstruction (the most expensive option) is our only option.
Under SB-1, the new gas tax added 12 cents per gallon to meet State and local needs. The total tax, 71.87 cents per gallon (State and Federal), puts California on par with other states in the Union.
California (with SB-1)
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, Tarmen Drive 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 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.