Bump at the pump Wednesday as gas tax rises

- There’s going to be a bump at the pump starting Wednesday.

The tax hike, part of a bill signed into law by Governor Brown in April, will raise billions to fix California’s crumbling highways and roads and put thousands of people to work.

Motorists will pay at 12 cents more per gallon as the statewide gas tax takes effect. The tax goes up to 19.5 cents per gallon by 2020.

In January, drivers will pay a new vehicle registration fee ranging from $25 to $175 depending on value of their vehicles. That money will also be used for transportation projects. 

The fees and taxes will all rise annually with inflation in perpetuity, raising an estimated $52 billion over the next 10 years.

Although the gas tax isn't entirely new -- California is just one of more than 20 states that have passed gas tax increases over the last five years to help with road repairs—there are a few things you need to know as you shell out more money to fill up.

Who approves the projects and when do they start?

The California Transportation Commission, appointed mostly by Brown, will approve projects for the funding. Much of the construction work on state highways will likely begin in the summer of 2018 though some existing projects may be sped up.

Caltrans officials say they have expedited about $5 billion in road repair and bridge projects ahead of the tax. They say funds will not be bogged down in bureaucratic red tape because a state auditor will make sure the money is used correctly.  

What are some of the projects?

A few of the state projects that will get money are known, including an extension of a commuter rail line between the Central Valley and Silicon Valley, a parkway linking the University of California, Merced to a major state highway and highway expansion in Riverside County. Those projects were promised to undecided lawmakers to win their support for the legislation.

In July, a $10.1 million highway resurfacing project on state routes 40 and 95 in the Southern California county of San Bernardino got underway. There is also roadwork in Solano, Santa Barbara and Merced counties. 

Potential projects also include major commuting corridors near Sacramento, Highway 101 in Sonoma County and Interstate 580 in the East Bay.

Will the money only be used to fix roads?

Some will go to pedestrian, bike and transit upgrades. Roughly 500 bridges will be repaired. But much will be used for road repairs as officials estimate a backlog of roughly $130 billion in necessary road repairs around the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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