Nearly one million signatures submitted to repeal the gas tax hike

By Sal Rodriguez, Orange County Register | On Monday, April 30, proponents of a measure to repeal gas tax increases rammed through the California Legislature last year with Senate Bill 1 submitted 940,000 signatures in an effort to place the measure on the November ballot.

The move comes weeks ahead of a May 21 filing deadline and with hundreds of thousands more signatures than the 585,407 required to qualify the measure for the ballot, perhaps reflecting the strength of the movement to repeal the 12 cents per gallon gas tax hike.

The measure, backed by former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio and gubernatorial candidate John Cox, calls for the repeal of the 12 cents per gallon increase and would require any future gas tax increase to be approved by voters.

Polling by the Public Policy Institute of California in January found likely voters to be split on repealing the gas tax hike, with 47 percent of likely voters indicating support for repeal and 48 percent opposed. But subsequent polling by PPIC has also found that most Californians believe they pay more taxes than they should.

Whether gas tax opponents can tap into that latter sentiment enough and drive out voters to repeal the gas tax increase remains to be seen, but the circumstances and reality of the gas tax hike shouldn’t be forgotten.

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