WASHINGTON (Oct. 10, 2014) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill establishing an advisory committee that will propose a road-usage fee as an alternative to the state's gas tax.
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the legislation (S.B. 1077) sets up a committee that will study a road-usage fee and propose the tax as an alternative to the gas tax as well as make recommendations on the design of the pilot program.
Supporters say a road-usage fee will distribute the gas tax burden across all vehicles regardless of fuel source, SEMA said, and minimize the impact of the current “regressive gas tax structure.” On the other hand, opponents claim the law will penalize national efforts to create a more fuel-efficient vehicle fleet by taxing drivers based on vehicle mileage, according to Diamond Bar, Calif.-based SEMA.
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.”