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Lathrop supports bid to fix roads
The pothole that developed last week on I-580 near Livermore closing two lanes was blamed on aging pavement and the weather. - photo by Photo Contributed

California’s aging roadways have long been a problem – plagued by overuse and an antiquated gas tax that doesn’t generate nearly as much money as the maintenance requires. 

But a pair of legislative bills from Sacramento – one from the Assembly and one from the Senate – could change all of that 

And the City of Lathrop stands behind the effort. 

Last week the Lathrop City Council voted to sign onto a letter of support through the League of California Cities to back Assembly Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1 – the combination of which would restructure the state’s transportation income format through a series of measures, generating billions in revenue for much needed transportation infrastructure upgrades. 

It could also add more than 500,000 jobs. 

In addition to comprehensive and sensible transportation reforms, the bills would include:

uAn increase California’s gas tax by 12 cents for every gallon over three years

uEnding the State Board of Equalization’s “true up” process on the unreliable price-based excise tax on gas

uA $38 increase on vehicle registrations

uA $100 vehicle registration fee for zero emission vehicles

uA 20-cent increase to the diesel excise tax

u$300 million in existing cap-and-trade funds

u$500 million in vehicle weight fees phased in over five years

While the proposal would increase the price that California drivers pay at the pump for both gas and diesel, it would modernize the aged method in which gas taxes are collected and the amount that is charged to motorists – originally set in 1994 without any adjustments to it in more than two decades. 

On top of not increasing to keep up with inflation, fuel-efficiency mandates and industry improvements has ensured that motorists can go father on a tank of gas – taking away from the money that the State of California can collect to improve roads. 

According to the League of California Cities, the proposals would generate $6 billion annually upon full implementation, with $2.2 billion of that money going directly to local roads and streets. 

Lathrop Councilman Steve Dresser, who ultimately voted to support the endorsement, said that he didn’t necessarily agree with the idea of increasing the registration fee of zero emissions vehicles only $100, hinting that he would have liked to have seen it brought up to a level more in-line with regular vehicles. If adopted as written, that would generate $20 million annually on its own. 

Of the money raised, according to the League, $1.45 billion would be distributed annually for maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system, and $1.45 billion would be distributed for maintenance and rehabilitation of local streets and roads. 

Roughly $770 million of that money would be used for capital projects and improvements to the California Highway System, and a one-time $706 million transportation loan would be repaid with the funds. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.