Saturday, May 12, 2018

Prop 69: CFRW recommends a NO vote

Prop Spotlight: Prop 69 - Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox and Appropriations Limit Exemption Amendment

The CFRW Recommends a NO vote

Ballot Title: Requires That Certain New Transportation Revenues Be Used for Transportation Purposes. Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Ballot Summary:

Requires that revenues generated by a 2017 transportation funding law, through a certain vehicle license fee and diesel sales tax, be used only for transportation purposes, including public transportation. Generally prohibits the Legislature from diverting those funds to other purposes.
Prohibits revenue from new vehicle license fees from being used to repay general obligation bond debt.
Exempts new revenues from state and local spending limits.
Background

Last year the California State Legislature passed SB 1, “The Gas Tax”, by a 2/3rds majority vote. It was overwhelmingly unpopular with Californians, but they did it anyway. SB 1 enacted the highest tax increase in our state’s history, at $5.2 billion a year in higher taxes. SB 1 raised gasoline taxes an additional 12 cents a gallon, raised diesel taxes by 20 cents a gallon, raised diesel sales taxes from 1.75 to 5.75 percent, raised vehicle fees by $25-$100 per car, per year, and finally included an electric car fee of $100 per car, per year. Proposition 69 was written as an addendum to SB 1, so that voters could feel the legislature would be responsible with SB 1 revenue. Californians already voted to protect gas tax revenue in 2002- Prop 42 and again in 2010- Prop 22. Both previous propositions were designed to have gas tax revenue be only used for transportation funding. Both previous propositions were created to protect gas tax revenue from being siphoned off for other funding purposes. Prop 69 claims to do the same thing, except this time, we know better.

Talking Points

  • This proposition is a farce. It is disingenuous to voters and to all taxpayers who use our roads. Prop 69 claims to use gas tax revenue for transportation purposes only. When the legislature passed SB 1, they claimed we needed the higher taxes to fix our crumbling transportation infrastructure. But the truth is, we didn’t need higher taxes, we need representatives with integrity, who would use already existing gas tax revenue and vehicle fees for transportation purposes only. The legislature needed to write a constitutional amendment to keep their word?
  • We already have “lockbox” measures supposedly keeping our gas tax revenue “safe” and for “transportation funds” only. Why do we think this time they won’t use a loophole?
  • Speaking up loopholes, Prop 69 exempts the gas tax revenue from the state’s constitutional spending limit. This will RAISE the state’s General Fund spending by approximately $2 billion annually, with no taxpayer oversight.
  • Prop 69 does nothing to protect taxpayer’s money. Taxpayers were promised that SB 1 would fix our roads and transportation infrastructure. Prop 69 does not guarantee this. Instead, it puts some of the revenue in a “transportation fund” whereby the legislature can decide what qualifies as “transportation” (read: transit and High Speed Rail). It does not guarantee funding for our crumbling roads or easing traffic congestion! It is a duplicitous measure designed to make voters feel like they are in the “driver’s seat” with state spending, but we are being “taken for a ride” once again.
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Official CFRW Positions

  • Prop 68: NO
  • Prop 69: NO
  • Prop 70: NO
  • Prop 71: YES
  • Prop 72: YES
June Ballot Measures

Proposition 68: California Parks, Environment, and Water Bond- would issue a $4 billion general obligation bond, with a 3.5% interest rate over 30 years, bringing the bill to the taxpayers up to $6.4 billion total. The CFRW says vote NO.

Proposition 69: Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox and Appropriations Limit Exemption Amendment- states that Senate Bill 1 revenue from diesel taxes will be placed in a “lockbox” and used only for transportation fund purposes. The CFRW says vote NO.

Proposition 70: Vote Requirement to Use Cap and Trade Funds Amendment- would require a one-time vote in 2024 by a 2/3rds legislative majority to allocate state Cap and Trade program revenue. The CFRW says vote NO.

Proposition 71: Effective Date of Ballot Measures Amendment- changes the date for when voter approved ballot measures take effect from the day after the election to the fifth day after the Secretary of State certifies the election. The CFRW says vote YES.

Proposition 72: Rainwater Capture Systems Excluded from Property Tax Assessment- would exclude any new rainwater capture structures from property value tax reassessment from counting as a new structure. The CFRW says vote YES.

If you would like ALL the talking points for each proposition, please email our Advocate at advocate@cfrw.org.
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