Gas tax hike to fund road repairs

Tomorrow the state tax on gasoline will go up by 12 cents, the first increase in 23 years.

Over the next 10 years, the tax increase, along with increases in other fuel-related taxes and fees, will generate $54 billion for transportation improvements statewide–mainly road repairs but also $100 million more a year exclusively for biking and walking projects.

Sacramento County will collect $289.6 million, including $112.6 million within the city of Sacramento, as the result of Senate Bill 1, the state law that contained the gas tax increase. The 6-county Sacramento Area Council of Governments Region (Sacramento, Sutte, Yolo and Yuba counties and parts of El Dorado and Placer counties) will receive $919 million due to SB 1.

Here’s how SB 1 allocates the additional funding statewide:

• $100 million per year exclusively for biking and walking projects.
• $3 billion per year–the majority of the funding–will go to repairing state- and locally-owned roads, which provides a key opportunity to build safer, complete streets that accommodate travel by bike, transit and walking.
• $750 million per year will support improving service and expanding public transit. More public transit helps reduce traffic congestion, which creates safer streets for biking and walking.
• $250 million per year is for a new program aimed at increasing transportation choices in highly traveled, congested corridors.
• $25 million per year for planning grants to support smart growth and development of better projects in the future.

In the Sacramento region, the increased revenues will be used for these projects to improve conditions for bicycling:

• bike lane and pedestrian route improvements on McGowan Parkway in Olivehurst ($1.25M)
• the Electric Greenway bike path in Citrus Heights ($5.8M)
• a segment of the El Dorado Trail near Missouri Flat Road in El Dorado County ($3.4M)
• complete streets improvements along Folsom Blvd. in unincorporated Sacramento County ($4.18M)
• Phase II of the Two Rivers Trail along the south side of the American River near downtown Sacramento ($3.33M)

A survey conducted this spring by Calbike shortly after the passage of SB 1 showed that most Californians favor investing in these kinds of improvements.

Even with the new revenues, the region’s unfunded need–the value of needed transportation improvements that don’t yet have funding–is still $2 billion over the next 10 years.

In Sacramento, gas tax revenues account for about 10% of the city’s transportation budget. Other funding sources, such as a countywide transportation sales tax, will be needed to pay for upgrading transit equipment and building costly biking and walking infrastructure such as overcrossings and bridges.

Click here to learn more about SB 1.

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