The city of Los Angeles could lose out on $34.5 million in funding for transportation projects this fiscal year and the county could lose more than $1 billion if Proposition 6 passes, according to reports presented Friday to the City Council.
Prop 6 would cancel a 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax, a 20-cent-per-gallon increase on diesel fuel, and some new vehicle registration fees signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. The tax is projected to raise $5.5 billion annually for transportation and maintenance projects across the state.
“The costs of this measure are tremendous. The savings that would be realized by this measure are paltry, and I just think that it’s critically important that people understand that this is not the time for us to reverse our course on fixing Los Angeles and fixing our transit future and transportation future,” City Councilman Paul Krekorian said.
Representatives of Metro and the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer both spoke before the council about the impacts that Prop 6 would have on planned projects.
The CAO report states that potentially affected projects for the city include street and sidewalk repairs, Vision Zero pedestrian safety enhancements, and various capital improvements throughout the city.
Metro could lose out on more than $1 billion annually, which would impact numerous projects, including building the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor to connect downtown Los Angeles to the Gateway Cities, expanding rapid bus routes on Vermont Avenue, adding more buses to the Orange Line and many others.
Repealing the tax resulting from the 2017 passage of the Road Repair and Accountability Act has been a cornerstone of Republican John Cox’s campaign for governor and is supported by a number of other GOP leaders in the state. They argue the tax costs a family of four more than $500 a year and hits working families and the poor much harder than the wealthy.
“Sacramento politicians really crossed the line with these massive car and gas tax hikes and we intend to give taxpayers the chance to reverse that decision with this initiative,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California and a leader of the movement to repeal the gas tax, in a statement when the ballot initiative was filed in 2017.
DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and radio host, added that 2018 “will be remembered as the year we had another taxpayer revolt in California — where the outrageous car and gas taxes were reversed by voters and the politicians that enacted those tax hikes are punished at the ballot box.”
The City Council earlier this week approved a resolution opposing Prop 6.
“Let’s make no mistake about it, passage of Proposition 6 would be a disaster for Los Angeles and its residents,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said before the vote.