California votes to retain transportation fees designated for road repairs

9 November 2018

US – The midterm elections saw California voters defeat ballot measure Proposition 6, which would repeal the 2017 transportation laws taxes and fees designated for road repairs and public transportation. The fiscal impact concerns ongoing revenues of USD 5.1bn from state fuel and vehicle taxes that mainly would have paid for highway and road maintenance and repairs, as well as transit programs.

Arguments for the measure state that lower gas prices would help Californians who are struggling with the high cost of living. Among the groups opposed to repealing the tax are the California Professional Firefighters, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, American Society of Civil Engineers and first responders, who argue the move would jeopardize the safety of bridges and roads.

In the run up to the election Kwame Agyare, American Society of Civil Engineers region director said, “This harmful ballot measure will stop progress on hundreds of projects currently underway to fix bridges, overpasses and tunnels that do not meet earthquake safety standards. This will increase the risk to public safety.”