California will charge the highest taxes on gasoline in the United States come Monday but some complain that even more money will be needed to maintain the Golden State’s roads and freeways.
The new 5.6 cents extra tax per gallon tax will boost the total paid per gallon from 41.7 cents to 47.3 cents. It is expected to raise billions for road and bridge repairs around the state along with mass transit projects. That is on top of the 12 cents per gallon increase in 2017.
Experts said that the tax increases are expected to raise $52 billion over its first 10 years, but will be $78 billion short of what is needed.
“The current funding is not sufficient, it is not enough,” Tony Akel, the head of the American Society of Civil Engineers, told the Los Angeles Times. “We know that there is a big gap that is a result of years of underfunding.”
But Monday will not be the end of the gasoline hike because the tax will increase annually from 2 to 3 percent adjusted for inflation.
“That’s about 1.5 cents a gallon rise annually, every year going forward,” Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler told the San Francisco Chronicle. “While not to anyone’s liking, this is medicine long overdue and desperately needed, as too many Bay Area roadways are well past middle age and are declining every year.”
California’s current per gallon average of $3.751 is already the highest in the nation and is more than a dollar higher than the nationwide average of $2.716 for regular, according to AAA.com.
California Democratic State Sen. Steve Glazer said the taxes will just continue to pound poor families.
“(The gasoline tax will) just going to make it that much more expensive for lower-income families who live here,” Glazer told the Chronicle.
Four other states will increase its gasoline taxes on Monday as well. Illinois will double its gasoline tax, going from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents. Ohio’s gasoline tax will jump 10.5 cents, from 28 cents to 38.5 cents. South Carolina and Tennessee are incorporating more modest increases.
South Carolina’s gasoline tax will go up 2 cents to 22.4 cents per gallon while Tennessee will increase a penny to 27.4 cents.
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