It is no secret, Californians pay some of the highest gas prices in the nation. Many locals were upset when they learned Governor Jerry Brown passed the gas tax and vehicle fee increases to fix our bad roads.
A recent poll by UC Berkley confirmed that the majority of Californians were not for the increase. In fact, only 35 percent wanted it.
Despite the opposition and disgruntled voters, these changes are happening and there isn't much voters can do about it other than hold legislators accountable. A recent state report stated lawmakers need to begin to work on developing new benchmarks to measure progress on transportation projects funded by the new tax and fee. Paul Golszewski, a principle fiscal and policy analyst from the Legislative Analyst Office, said a watchdog group can be created.
"It'll be important of the legislature to ensure that the funds that are being raised from these tax and fee increases lead to the desired improvements on the highways and streets that people are expecting," Golszewski said.
The Governor thought California was due for another increase since the last time the gas tax was touched was in 1994. He said our roads need a little TLC, which Sacramento local Tamica Walker agreed with.
"Just recently those holes in the road tore off my tire," Walker explained. "I had to fix it myself."
Despite her personal experience, Walker said we are taxed enough in California and didn't want the gas tax increase. Rachel Tervretinov walked out to pump gas at Bonfare Market and she told ABC10's Anne Di Grazia the state is unaffordable.
"Taxes are already crazy expensive in California, they just upped the tax on our cigarettes, it is insane," she said.
This money maker increase would raise $5.2 billion annually and was passed in April. The tax raises gas by 12 cents a gallon, roughly an extra $10 each month for drivers.
"I like Jerry, I have known him for a long time, most the stuff I think he does is good but this it seems a little sneeky," local Mike Shellooe said.
All of those who spoke out supported the UC Berkley poll, enforcing the idea that Californians do not like Brown's decision.
"Being a senior on a fixed income, it is horrible that they raised the taxes like that," Shellooe said.
All of the drivers want accountability since the didn't have a say in the decision.
"Get a watch dog group to look over it," Shellooe said.
"Put it out in the newspaper so we can see, the people deserve it, that this is being put use and not to something that is irrelevant," Walker added.
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