California Dolphin: statewide California news

Major SD projects in works with gas tax funds

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Caltrans, San Diego Association of Governments members and other elected officials -- including Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Sen. Ben Hueso and Assemblyman Todd Gloria -- Friday will highlight upcoming San Diego County transit projects to be funded by Senate Bill 1.

San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox and San Diego City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez are also expected to attend the Caltrans SANDAG news conference.

SB 1 went into effect in November. It raised gas and diesel taxes by 12 cents and 20 cents per gallon, respectively. Vehicle registration fees also increased $25 to $175, depending on the value of the vehicle.

Democrats who backed the increase said they believed it was the best way to handle a $137 billion backlog of road repairs. The increase is expected to raise more than $5 billion for transportation costs annually.

There has been significant pushback against the gas tax increase, however. Republicans are advocating for a repeal of the law, and an initiative is likely headed to the November ballot.

In the meantime, funding has already been approved for many projects, including a $700 million project led by Caltrans and SANDAG to reduce congestion along the North Coast Corridor of Interstate 5.

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