Backers of Proposition 6, the anti-gas tax measure on the November ballot, will rally Monday in Norco and Palm Springs, calling for greater scrutiny of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Prop 6 supporters will be outside the Norco DMV office at 3201 Horseless Carriage Road between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and outside the Palm Springs DMV office at 74-740 Technology Drive between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
According to Reform California spokesman Dave McCulloch, the focus of the rallies will be to demand an independent probe of the DMV’s backlogs and warn the public that the DMV is using vehicle license revenue to address issues other than transportation.
Gov. Jerry Brown last week directed the California Department of Finance to conduct a seven-month audit of DMV operations based on a surge of complaints over the agency’s inability to reduce wait times and ensure timely appointments for motorists, as well as appropriately handle voter registrations via the New Motor Voter program.
According to published reports, more than 23,000 individuals were mistakenly registered to vote, or in some cases, registered but assigned to the wrong political party.
Assembly Bill 1461, which Brown signed into law in October 2015, allows for automatic voter registration whenever a person obtains or renews his or driver’s license. Critics said at the time that it would overburden the DMV’s resources and potentially lead to voter fraud because undocumented immigrants can procure a California driver’s license.
Proponents of the law said it would elevate voter participation and strengthen the democratic process.
The Department of Finance audit will look at the DMV’s information technology infrastructure, management and methodologies, according to state officials.
Prop 6 supporters have denounced the audit as insufficient and will highlight aspects of a proposal Reform California introduced last week calling for an independent auditor to examine DMV operations every three years.
If approved by voters on Nov. 6, Prop 6 would repeal all of the pump price hikes and vehicle license fee increases that took effect last Nov. 1 under Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair & Accountability Act of 2017.
The legislation resulted in a 12-cent increase in state excise taxes on regular gas and 20 cents for diesel, as well as a 5.75 percent increase in diesel sales taxes. Vehicle license fees went up an average $40 per year.
According to Reform California, because of the legislation, the average family in California is paying roughly $800 more in taxes annually.
The governor, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey and other proponents said an increase in petrol taxes was needed to cover a range of overdue transportation projects, including failing roads.
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