California Gas tax, road repairs & politics

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California motorists pay the nation’s highest state gas tax, 61.2 cents per gallon, followed by Pennsylvania’s 58.7 cents, the Tax Foundation reports.

The low end: Alaska, 14.66 cents, Missouri, 17.42 cents, Mississippi, 18.4 cents.

Who could forget: Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1, which raised gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon initially and another 5.6 cents as of July 1.

CalTans spent $2.3 billion of SB 1 money as of June, and anticipates spending $5.5 billion during the 2019-20 fiscal year. 

CalTrans’ count:

  • 100 projects completed, including 57 pavement projects repairing or replacing asphalt on almost 1,500 lane miles of roadway, and 115 bridges.
  • 469 projects in the works, with 70 under construction.

Bigger undertakings:

  • $370 million for I-5 in Sacramento, including 23 miles of carpool lanes, to be open by late 2022.
  • $255 million for Highway 101 in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, including 31 miles of express lanes, to be done by mid-2022.
  • $2 billion for the 405 in Orange County, including 64 lane miles of regular and express lanes to be done by 2023.

Politics: Gas tax opponents last June recalled Democrat Josh Newman, then a senator from Fullerton, over his vote in favor of the tax. 

Newman last week reported having $233,910 in the bank for his comeback campaign against Republican Sen. Ling Ling Chang. Chang, who won the seat in the recall, had banked $393,840.