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California Legislature OKs first gas tax hike in 23 years

California Gov. Jerry Brown (at podium) unveiled the plan in late March.
Photo – Brown's website

The California Legislature has approved a $52 billion transportation spending plan that includes a state gas tax increase, local media reported last week.

Known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, the bill calls for raising the base gasoline excise tax by 12 cents. The legislation is expected to provide funds for various transportation projects over the next decade, The Sacramento Bee reported.

California's gas tax hasn't changed in 23 years, according to a press release issued by State Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), who introduced the plan.

"The bill is based on a user-pays model, placing the responsibility on the motorists who use the roads to maintain the roads," Beall said.

The plan includes $700 million for mass transit projects, such as a plan to extend Bay Area Rapid Transit's services to San Jose.

In addition, the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) will receive $400 million to expand its services to Stanislaus and Merced counties. Those funds will be used to make the necessary improvements for the expansion, including new track, stations and trains, ACE officials said in a press release.

ACE is expected to extend to Ceres no later than 2023.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers unveiled the plan late last month.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/20/2017