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Gov. Brown In Riverside Pushing For Gas Tax Hikes

RIVERSIDE ( —Gov. Jerry Brown joined state and local representatives in Riverside Tuesday to push for a bill that would raise gasoline taxes and vehicle license fees to pay for road repairs.

The Road Repair & Accountability Act of 2017 is expected to generate an estimated $5.2 billion a year.

Senate Bill 1 seeks to raise gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon, hike the vehicle registration fee to $48 a year on average and require drivers of electric vehicles to pay and extra $100 per year.

The pump price hikes would cost drivers about $10 a month, according to the governor's office.

"Our roads are falling apart. We can fix them, and we will fix them," Brown said at a news conference held at North Park. "If we don't get these roads built this year, I'm very concerned that we won't ever get it. I'll tell you why because it's not going to get any cheaper. And don't blow it guys. I mean I'm going off to my ranch. You're going to drive on these damn roads. Fix them now or you may never get them fixed. I don't know what opponents expect - the tooth fairy to fix the roads?

The governor said the state's gas tax has not been raised in 23 years while the roads have deteriorated. Furthermore, road repairs will create jobs, according to Brown.

President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said the bill will contain a lockbox that will make sure the money can only be spent on roads and bridges.

"All transportation dollars will be in that lockbox and used exclusively for our roads and for transportation," de Leon said.

Protesters standing on the outer perimenter of the park disrupted the briefing by shouting: "No new taxes!" and "Stop the train!"

The Road Repair Act, which could be voted on as early as Thursday, requires a two-thirds vote to pass the Legislature.

The California Trucking Association supports the gas tax package while the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association opposes it.

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