In a late night for the California legislature, both branches passed a gas tax pushed heavily by Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday (April 6) night. First, the state senate passed SB 1 by a 27-11 margin. Then, in a session pushing in the late hours, the assembly passed the bill 54-26. Both votes needed a 2/3 vote to raise the tax. And both just got that margin.

In the senate, things turned when Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella, whose district covers much of western Fresno County, voted in favor. “This state cannot continue to just put asphalt band aids on potholes when what we really need is major road and rail surgery to keep Californians and their economy moving. In addition, this will be transformative for commerce and commuter travel throughout the Central Valley,” he e-mailed in a news release.

Cannella was able to secure $400 million for a commuter rail line in the northerner part of his district and another $100 million for projects in Merced.

He wasn’t the only Valley politician to cross party lines. Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Democrat whose district covers Kings County, voted against the bill.

It would increase the gasoline tax by $0.12 over three years (six cents in year one; three cents in years two-three). That would raise the current gas taxes from $0.278 to $0.398 per gallon, or a 43% increase. Federal taxes are at $0.184 a gallon. On top of that is the county sales tax, which is currently 7.975% in Fresno.

For diesel, the increase is 20 cents a gallon and a 4% increase on the sales tax (from 1.75% to 5.75%).

Vehicle license fees will also increase. Depending on the value of the vehicle, the fee will go up $25-$175. The state would also charge $100 a year for zero-emission (i.e. electric) cars.

If there is a silver lining, millions will be spent in Fresno ($119 to be exact), according to CalTrans estimates.

The roll call of Valley delegates in the Senate:

Aye: Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)

No: Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield)

Not voting: Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) [excused absence]

The roll call of Valley delegates in the Assembly:

Aye: Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Adam Gray (D-Merced)

No: Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield)

For the full vote count, click here.

 

Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

 

About The Author

David is a familiar name in Fresno journalism, working as a producer, writer and assignment editor for various radio and TV stations. He has covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, UFC, Fresno State and many political campaigns. E-mail: dtaub@gvwire.com David earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Political Science from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Michelle have their hands full at home with three little ones. Originally from the Bay Area, David is a diehard Giants fan.

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