SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2014) — The California Assembly and Senate have approved legislation to establish an advisory committee to study a road-usage fee.
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) Washington, D.C., staff, the bill establishing a road-usage fee advisory committee now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his approval or veto.
Under the bill, the group would propose the fee as an alternative to the state's gas tax and make recommendations on the design of a pilot program, SEMA said. According to supporters, a road-usage fee has the potential to distribute the gas tax burden across all vehicles regardless of fuel source and to minimize the impact of the current regressive gas tax structure.
SEMA said the legislation's opponents claim the bill seeks to penalize national efforts to create a more fuel-efficient vehicle fleet by taxing drivers based on vehicle mileage.
As gas tax revenues decrease due to hybrid and electric vehicle ownership, SEMA said states are looking for new sources of funding for pet projects.