Poll Finds Support for SB1
October 5, 2017
A recently-released poll indicates that most Californian’s do not support a proposed ballot initiative to repeal SB 1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – that will take effect on November 1 and infuse sorely needed new revenue to fix California’s aging transportation infrastructure. Conducted by Probolsky Research, the poll found that almost 54 percent of Californians oppose repealing SB1. The Los Angeles Times story about the poll can be found here.
The poll comes just as local governments are submitting their SB 1 project lists to the California Transportation Commission (CTC), due October 16, in order to meet robust accountability and transparency requirements also part of SB 1. The new law requires cities and counties to submit lists to the State with details about how they will use the new revenue to improve the local transportation infrastructure.
“It’s really gratifying to see that most Californians support SB 1 even though it means they will be paying a little bit more in taxes at the pump,” said Kiana Valentine, CSAC’s Legislative Representative for Housing, Land Use and Transportation. “Counties have been putting off much-needed maintenance on roads and bridges for years because there simply wasn’t enough revenue to keep up with increasing wear and tear on the system. This new infusion of revenue, dedicated to transportation maintenance and safety projects, will allow counties to start fixing roads and bridges before they completely deteriorate.”
CSAC is continuing to work with the Fix Our Roads (FOR) Coalition to oppose attempts to repeal the new law, and to publicize the improvements to streets, roads, and bridges that are part of local project lists. The FOR Coalition includes local governments, business organizations and labor unions. “These organizations all started working together more than two years ago to address the lack of funds for basic maintenance and safety,” said Valentine. “SB 1 was the result of that effort and we’re not going to let it get repealed now. We are going to do everything we can to demonstrate to the people of California that this is a worthwhile investment and will result in improved safety and efficiency on the roads and bridges we all drive on.”
Estimates are that the average driver will pay about $10 more per month in fuel taxes after November 1 when SB1 takes effect. However, California drivers currently pay on average $762 annually in a “hidden tax” in the form of added maintenance on their vehicles so SB 1 should result in a net gain for motorists. That will raise about $5.2 billion dollars a year, with $750 million per year dedicated to counties and the same amount for cities. Caltrans also gets a significant portion of the new revenue to begin addressing problems with California’s highways and bridges as will transit agencies to improve and increase mass transit options. The California Transportation Commission SB1 webpages have details on SB1 implementation plans as does CSAC’s.