Caltrans warns road improvement projects could be delayed, cancelled if CA's gas tax is repealed

Byby Cornell Barnard via KGO logo
Saturday, October 13, 2018
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There's a dire warning from the state of California to just about anyone who owns a car.

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- There's a dire warning from the state of California to just about anyone who owns a car: major road repair and improvement projects in the Bay Area could be in jeopardy if voters repeal California's gas tax in November.

I-880 in Hayward is the latest stretch of highway through Alameda County to get new asphalt. A sign tells drivers, "It's your tax dollars at work."

2018 VOTER GUIDE: A look at all the California propositions

But Caltrans says this project and others could be delayed or canceled if voters kill California's gas tax hike.

"The gas tax not only impacts highway projects but local cities and counties receive that money for improvements, too," said Caltrans Deputy District Director Tony Tavares.

Tavares says repealing the gas tax with a yes vote on Prop 6 could also delay the installation of carpool lanes on Highway 101 in San Mateo County and possibly delay BART's extension project to San Jose.

The 12 cent gas tax was passed last year by state legislators. It's expected to generate more than $5 billion annually to fix roads and improve transportation.

2018 VOTER GUIDE: A look at California's Prop 6: Gasoline tax repeal

"My neighborhood is full of potholes. It's bad for your car so you end up paying one way or another," said Oakland resident Brenda Ross.

The battle is waiting on TV, both sides of Proposition 6 making their arguments in political commercials.

Yes on 6 campaign spokesperson Dave McCulloch says the state has plenty of money for improvement projects.

"This is nothing more than a hostage taking. Politicians have the ability to fund all projects if they would take the existing gas tax and put it towards fixing roads," said McCulloch.

McCulloch claims the gas tax is breaking some families budgets, costing them up to $700 annually.

Take a look at full coverage on the 2018 election here.