Group Aims to Close Gas Tax Loophole

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 20, 2006

You may remember Proposition 42.  It requires state gas taxes to be spent on transportation projects.  Voters approved it by nearly 70 percent back in 2002.   But two out of the last three years, the Governor and the legislature have taken advantage of a loophole which allows them to put the money into the general fund if there’s a fiscal emergency.  Jim Earp of the California Alliance for Jobs says the coalition is circulating an initiative for the November ballot.  It would create a constitutional amendment which would eliminate that in the future: 
“The legislature has engaged in highway robbery over the last several years and has taken this money that should have gone to transportation and spent it elsewhere.”
Earp says a total of 2.5 billion has been spent elsewhere so far, and the initiative calls for the state to pay that back within ten years.