Anger over the increase in gas taxes has launched a second initiative to repeal the tax passed in April. Sources close to the drafting of this new measure say it will be well funded. Such a measure could have political implications beyond undoing the tax—one situation now and one if it makes the ballot.
Polls show strong opposition to the gas tax increase. A gas tax repeal measure could rally Republican voters to go to the polls during the 2018 General Election, especially if no Republican makes the runoff for either of the state’s high-profile offices, governor and United States Senator.
The timing of the filing of this initiative is also interesting. News of the pushback against a previous tax increase comes at a time when legislators weigh another tax increase vote on SB 2, a document tax to pay for housing. A reminder that taxes are on the voters’ minds might play into the final legislative votes on SB 2.
The new tax repeal effort is a short constitutional amendment that states that all gas taxes approved after January 1, 2017 must be approved by the electorate. While the taxes approved under SB 1 take effect in November they would cease to be collected if the new initiative passes in 2018.
An earlier initiative filed by Assembly member Travis Allen is also designed to repeal the gas tax. That measure is awaiting a hearing in court over the wording of the title and summary written by Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Update: The SB2 tax plan passed the Assembly with no votes to spare