AJOT Blogs


Republicans Seek recall of Democratic State Senator who voted California gas tax

Jun 30, 2017

Gas tax was proposed for rebuilding freeways & roads – San Pedro Ports could be impacted

Republicans are attempting to recall a Democratic state senator in California who voted for a new gas tax aimed at repairing and rebuilding California freeways and roads. Repealing the new California tax, which is designed to fund $50-billion in road and freeway improvements over the next 10 years, could adversely impact efforts to relieve freeway congestion.

Further the repeal of the tax might undermine efforts to relieve harbor truck congestion on the I-710 freeway linking the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with Southern California freeways.

In an interview, the KNBC News in Los Angeles, Carl DeMaio, a conservative radio show host from San Diego, said he is leading the effort to recall California State Senator Josh Newman who DeMaio says, “stabbed his constituents in the back” by voting for the gas tax. DeMaio said, “We want to roll back the tax and what better way than to pick off one by one State Senators who voted for the tax until they reverse themselves and repeal the tax.”

DeMaio hopes his group will gather enough signatures to hold an election on recalling Senator Newman by October and begin the process of repealing the tax.

California State Senator, Josh Newman, is a Democrat who defeated a Republican in a historically Republican district that includes parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Senator Newman told AJOT that the new tax “reverses years of California not investing in its roads, freeways and bridges which are in a state of disrepair that need fixing.”

Additionally, Newman noted President Trump also supports new spending on roads and bridges as part of a national effort to repair a highway transportation system that needs rebuilding.

According to Newman, the new taxes are generated by Senate Bill 1 and will go to relieve congestion on California freeways. These include the I-710 and the intersection of the 57 and 60 freeways located in his district. This intersection “is one of the most congested freeway interchanges in the United States as a result of harbor truck traffic that comes via the 710 freeway from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.”

Senator Newman noted that “forty percent of televisions imported into the United States are trucked through the City of Industry and the intersection of the 57 and 60 freeways for distribution all over the United States.”

In its 2017 report, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) said the 57/60 intersection was the sixth most congested bottleneck for trucks in the United States.

ATRI noted: “This “bottleneck” analysis incorporates and synthesizes several unique components, including a massive database of truck GPS data, a sophisticated IT processing system, and algorithms that quantify the impact of congestion on truck-borne freight.”

In the KNBC interview, DeMaio complained that funds allocated for transportation had not always gone to transportation, and that California needed to stop misallocating gas tax funds for other uses and make sure funds go for transportation.

Newman sponsored new legislation to make sure that from now on all taxes and fees in California allocated for transportation go for transportation.

The components of the new taxes are contained in Senate Bill 1 or SB1. Newman said the provisions are as follows: 1) a 12-cent increase in gas taxes, 2) an increase in diesel fuel taxes, 3) an increase in car license fees, and 4) a new fee on electric cars. The new funds are designed to raise $50 billion over the next ten years, according to Newman.

Newman said that the Recall proponents have falsely claimed that recalling him will lead to the repeal of the gas tax. This statement is not true since one Republican Senator provided the crucial vote that assured passage in the California Senate.

Newman says that the Recall supporters claim to have 50% of the signatures needed for an election that could be held in October to recall him.

Author Photo
Stas Margaronis
American Journal of Transportation
WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT

Discussion Closed

Keep me logged in

Forgot your password?

Register today for FREE
and receive access to:

  • Daily Newsletter
  • AJOT Digital Edition
  • and More!