Prop 6: Consider both sides before you “speed up, gas pedal, gas pedal, gas pedal”


Ryan King

“We’re just in high school! The majority of us can’t even vote in this upcoming election! Why should we even care what happens?” While naysayers would argue all of these things, the 2018 midterm elections include propositions, city council leaders and school board candidates that will affect our state, community and school district.

Although there are many topics being voted on in 2018’s election on Nov. 6, Proposition Six is a particularly public issue.

On April 28, 2017, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 became law in California. This act increased the price of gasoline by 12 cents per gallon, increased the diesel fuel price by 20 cents per gallon, created an annual transportation improvement fee and created an annual zero-emission vehicles fee. As a result, California had the means to increase their funding for highway and road maintenance and repairs and transit programs.

Proposition Six has reignited that debate, allowing the citizens of California to vote whether they want to save or eliminate the tax increase.

The state of California has two excise taxes on gasoline, both primary and secondary excise taxes, from the federal and state government. According to an article from the San Diego Union-Tribune, “How much you’ll REALLY pay in gasoline tax in California,” effective Nov. 1, 2017, total excise taxes came to 41.7 cents per gallon. Effective July 1, 2019, the excise tax rate will rise to 47.3 cents per gallon. Per the Union-Tribune, the total amount of taxes and fees in California starting in July 2019 will be 58.3 cents per gallon and a total of 18.4 cents per gallon from the Federal government. Overall, people driving in California starting in July next year will be taxed a total of 76.7 cents per gallon.

According to the California General Election Official Voter Information Guide, voting “YES” on Proposition Six will eliminate the California tax increase, making gasoline prices cheaper while reducing funding for highway and road maintenance. They argue that by saying YES, fuel taxation will be revoked, therefore gasoline prices will be immediately lowered and gives voters the chance to approve any future increase on vehicle fuel.

Voting “NO” on Proposition Six keeps the taxation increase on fuel passed by Legislature, preserving increased funding for highway and road maintenance and transit programs. Opponents of Proposition Six include the California Professional Firefighters, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, American Society of Civil Engineers, and first responders who argue that Proposition Six would “eliminate $5 billion annually in local transportation funding, stopping thousands of road safety, congestion relief and transportation improvement projects in every California community.” Voting “NO” on the proposition would also continue to allow Legislature to not need voter approval for future state fuel and vehicle taxes.