Repeal the gas tax. Or keep it.

Either way, I don’t care. Nor should Californians who have any sense of math.

It’s bizarre to watch the gas tax emerge as the number one issue in a state with real challenges in housing, economy, education and health care.

Because the gas tax is a small tax increase that does very little. Almost everything said by both sides of the debate is an exaggeration.

The gas tax makes very small increases in the state excise tax on gasoline (by 12 percent per gallon, or 20 cents for diesel fuel), and installs a new annual vehicle fee of less than $200. I’m not saying that’s nothing, but it’s pennies compared to the greater costs Californians are bearing in housing, energy and education.

The gas tax’s defenders are also exaggerating its impact, or how much it will help our needs. By one estimate, the state has a backlog of $130 billion in repair and replacement projects in transportation; the backlog is more like $800 billion for infrastructure as a whole.

And the gas tax? It produces all of $5 billion a year, or less than 4 percent of that backlog. Gavin Newson, will be as old as Jerry Brown is today by the time the gas tax produces enough revenue to cover today’s backlog.

But California politics has little do with any lived reality. And so the gas tax is becoming an issue to drive what could be the most important election for the state, and the American republic, in decades.

Wise voters, if there are any left, can safely ignore the gas tax. Pretty much everything else is a bigger issue.