Gov. Brown pushes for 12-cent gas tax increase plan to fund state road repairs

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Gov. Jerry Brown spoke in Riverside to push for a 10-year plan that will increase gas prices and vehicle registrations that in the end, he said, will fund repairs to California roads. (KABC)

Gov. Jerry Brown spoke in Riverside Tuesday to push for a 10-year plan that will increase gas prices and vehicle registrations that in the end, he said, will fund improvements to California's damaged roads.

On Thursday, the state legislature proposed raising $52 billion to fix the roads through a 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase, higher car registration fees and a $100 charge on emission-free vehicles.

"It's real simple. The only opposition to this bill are politicians who want to run around saying, 'Oh they fight taxes.' And then they'll blame somebody else for the horror of the roads," Brown said.

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During the press conference, he even had a photo of the San Bernardino County fire engine that fell after a portion of the 15 Freeway crumbled beneath it during a heavy rain storm in February.

Under the plan, drivers of electric vehicles will pay the $100 charge once a year, which would raise about $200 million over the course of 10 years.

The gas tax would raise $24.4 billion over the course of the plan, and the increased registration fees would raise about $16.3 billion.

But a group of people showed up to protest the plan, including resident Lillian Hernandez.

"I'm just mad. I'm so mad. It's so ridiculous. You know, if they can't figure out where to get the money to fix the roads, where to pull the funds from, then they should not be in office," she said.

Other drivers said it is a matter of trust.

"I think if the money actually went for it, it would probably be something worthwhile. The question is, will it go for that?" Dave Dameron, of Riverside, said.

The proposal includes a constitutional amendment that requires the money to only be spent on transportation projects and it would create an inspector general who will make sure the money isn't misspent.

This is the third time Brown has tried to address the multibillion-dollar backlog in transportation repairs with a proposed tax increase to pay for the upgrades.

He set an April 6 goal for the Legislature to pass a funding package.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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trafficpoliticsjerry brownroad repairmoneycalifornia legislationgas pricestaxeslegislationCaliforniaRiversideRiverside County
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