Last year's controversial gas tax is now on the ballot. This November, voters will decide on Proposition 6, which would repeal the tax. "It's important to note that voting yes on this prop means no to the gas tax, and voting no on this prop means yes to the gas tax," said Yvonne Leow, co-founder of the non-partisan By the Bay voter guide.
The gas tax is expected to generate more than $5 billion yearly to pay for road repairs and public transportation across California. If passed, Proposition 6 would eliminate that funding and require future gas tax increases to be approved by voters.
Proposition 6 is split along party lines, with both sides spending millions of dollars into their campaigns. The measure was introduced by republicans, who call the gas tax unfair and expensive. Supporters, including gubernatorial candidate John Cox, say the gas tax is a "blank check" that has already diverted funding away from road repairs.
Leow says that claim is not true. "It's not necessarily a blank check. [The gas tax] is estimated to generate $5 billion and the prop. does break down how exactly that revenue will be allocated in the budget."
The "No on 6" Campaign calls the measure an attack on California's bridge and road safety, claiming delays from poor road conditions puts Californians at risk. Leow points to a study by the U.S. News and World Report, which ranks California 49th out of 50 states in road quality. "The state needs the money," she said, adding "There are very specific areas, like servicing highways, improving pedestrian and bike projects as well. So there are some clauses that make it clear where the money will go.