As June 5 election day nears, voters are reminded to cast their votes regarding California Prop 69 (Proposition 69). Because voters are often confused about what is at stake, misconceptions about Prop 69 develop. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that help better explain.
Is Prop 69 going to raise my taxes again?
No. It does not raise taxes. It protects existing taxes and fees citizens are already paying. Voters can be assured that voting “Yes” on Prop 69 will not increase taxes at all.
Didn’t gas taxes already go to SB 1?
Proposition 69 is part of a legislative package that included Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
SB 1 enacted an estimated $5.2 billion-a-year increase in transportation-related taxes and fees. Article XIX of the California Constitution protects the gasoline excise tax, but also the vehicle registration fees, and specifies they go to transportation purposes. But Article XIX only covers 70 percent. Prop 69 is called The Transportation Lockbox Amendment. It is up to voters to assure all funds go toward transportation projects.
Wasn’t ACA-5 created to lock in these funds?
California Proposition 69 was formerly known as ACA-5. Voting “Yes” on Prop 69 is the same.
Won’t politicians just use this money however they want anyway?
In the past, funds that were raised for transportation were moved to the General Fund. This is true.
This time, in an effort to ensure monies got toward infrastructure, a number of accountability and transparency provisions were included in SB 1. This includes the creation of “the Independent Office of Audits and Investigations within the department, with specified powers and duties.” An Inspector General (IG) will oversee projects and programs to ensure all SB 1 funds are spent as promised. The IG is required to submit an annual report to the Legislature and Governor. Additionally, cities and counties must also provide transparency, accounting for money spent and submitting annual reports. Every dollar that should go toward transportation must go only toward transportation.
Citizens who vote “YES” on Prop 69 extend constitutional protections to the remaining 30 percent of new revenues generated by SB 1. This will assure all funds go toward transportation projects.
Are SB 1 taxes really going to fix anything?
SB 1 was enacted to help solve the transportation infrastructure crisis throughout the state. Over the next 10 years, SB 1 invests $54 billion toward fixing roads, freeways and bridges. These funds will be split equally between state and local projects. To get a break down of what money goes where, click here: http://www.rebuildingca.ca.gov/overview.html
Is SB 1 up for a vote?
SB 1 was signed into law on April 28, 2017. While there is a strong effort to repeal this law, voters should vote “NO” on a repeal.
The funds from SB 1 are vital to fixing California’s infrastructure. Prop 69 will protect those funds so they are utilized only on transportation projects.
Prop 69 is on the June 2018 ballot. Voters are asked to make their voices heard and vote “YES” to protect the current transportation funding and make sure it will be spent on transportation projects.
What if SB 1 is repealed?
It would rob communities across California of vital infrastructure improvement funds and make things much worse.
Currently, SB 1 guarantees funds to every city and county to make repairs on potholes, ease traffic congestion and improve public transportation. Our local roads, streets and state highways already face a backlog of $132 billion.
It would also greatly impact jobs and our economy. Every $1 billion invested in transportation infrastructure supports 13,000 jobs a year. If SB 1 were to be repealed, it would eliminate 650,000 good-paying jobs and $100 billion dollars in economic growth.