California’s landscape contractors will be seeing their overhead costs rise, thanks to a 12-cent-per-gallon hike in gas taxes. The hike was narrowly passed by the state legislature and becomes effective in November. It raises the current gas tax rate by 43 percent, and it will go to pay for a $52 billion road repair plan proposed by Governor Jerry Brown.
“I think it’s just terrible,” said one landscape contractor, “It is really going to hit guys like me, who don’t make very much money.” The new law received strong support from construction-trade unions, who stand to get a lot of work from the plan.
Along with the new gas tax, the bill also authorized a yearly fee for car ownership based on the vehicle’s value, increases to sales and excise taxes on diesel fuel, and a $100 fee on zero-emission vehicles made after 2020. The plan calls for most of the money to be spent on fixing potholes and highway repair, but also includes $7.5 billion for public transportation, $4 billion for bridge and culvert repairs and $1 billion for walking and biking trails.
“We have the highest poverty rate in the nation here in California, that is a matter of fact,” said state Senator Chad Mayes. “What the Democrats did is, they actually made the burden of living in California that much harder.”