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Friday’s tax hike at the pump will help fund 120 Bypass work, other projects
gas prices
Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER Recent pump prices at the South Main Chevron station in Manteca.

There’s good news and bad news coming Friday for Manteca area drivers.

First the bad news.

California’s gas tax is going up 2.8 cents per gallon.

Now the good news.

California’s gas tax is going up 2.8 cents per gallon.

The same 2.8 cent tax hike per gallon starting July 1 that will cost drivers 42 cents every time they pump 15 gallons into their vehicle, is the linchpin component for funding the $151 million upgrades planned in three phases as part of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 interchange upgrades. It also involves demolishing and replacing the Austin Road freeway overcrossing.

While $54 million is already set aside for the first phase of the project that adds a second southbound lane from the eastbound 120 Bypass to southbound Highway 99 and the new Austin overcrossing of both the freeway and train tracks in order to eliminate  the Highway 99 tourniquet, money is still needed for the next two phases.

The second phase puts in place a second lane from northbound Highway 99 to the westbound 120 Bypass. The third phase puts in elaborate ramps for the Austin Road interchange.

California’s gas tax fund is expected to be the foundation source of money to leverage state and federal transportation dollars to complete the project.

When finished, it will reduce congestion, improve traffic flow that now often is stop and go or under 30 mph during commute periods, as well as enhance safety. The last two eastbound miles of the Bypass have an accident rate nearly 7 times higher than the state average for a freeway based on a Caltrans analysis to justify the project.

Senate Bill 1 that authorized the last 10 cent per gallon gas tax increase, included automatic adjustments every July 1 for inflation.

The gas tax previously did not have adjustments for inflation. As a result, over years inflation diluted the buying power of the taxes collected to fund road projects.

The same legislation also set aside funds from the gas tax to pay for the extension of Altamont Corridor Express service from Ceres to Sacramento.

In doling so, it means Manteca commuters can board a train in downtown starting in 2023 to reach jobs in the Sacramento or San Jose areas.

The state gas tax is currently 51.1 cents per gallon. It will go up to 53.9 cents on July 1.

That is on top of the 18 cent federal gas tax.

The combined 71.9 cent gas tax starting July 1 will not be the only taxes on gas you pay.

State sales tax is 6.25 cents on every gallon pumped. The city also receives a 1 cent general sales tax and a voter authorized ½ cent sales tax for public safety positions. There is also a ½ cent voter-approved Measure K tax to fund countywide road and transportation projects.

That comes to 8.25 cents  a gallon.

The cheapest gas in Manteca on Tuesday was at Quicki Kleen on East Yosemite Avenue for $5.75 a gallon.

Based on paying $6 a gallon, a driver will pay just under 50 cents  in sales tax and 71.9 cents in gas taxes for every gallon of gas pumped..


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email