Kimberlin Brown Pelzer since January has been beating the drum to repeal the gas tax. The soap opera actress kicked off the year posing for photo ops during what she called the Indio Gas Tax Repeal Signature Storm at an Arco gas station in Indio.
Brown Pelzer has never relented. It is her go-to issue when all else fails. But even her cornerstone content failed her in July when, at a public meeting, she lamented the toll gas prices took on her campaign staff who travel from Rancho Mirage and La Quinta to her office in Cathedral City. Even Republicans shook their heads in dismay at the remark. Some said if it weren’t so sad, it might have been funny.
To whine about the cost of gas to get from Rancho Mirage to Cathedral City misses the entire point.
SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was passed last April and over the next decade was estimated to raise more than $50 billion for transportation projects in California. The money will be split equally between state and local projects. If the statewide gas tax, which went into effect Nov. 1, 2017 and raised fuel prices by an additional 12 cents a gallon, is repealed, all that money will be lost.
Cathedral City, for example, stands to lose $1 million. Myriad projects will be shelved. Residents wonder if Brown Pelzer understands that.
The magnitude of what the gas tax can do is not lost on Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz.
“High gas prices are mainly the result of big oil companies raising their prices to make enormous profits for themselves,” Ruiz told Uken Report via email. “Thanks to the Road Repair and Accountability Act, we are already seeing progress on infrastructure projects that benefit our communities — like improvements to Interstate 10 and local city streets. Repealing this infrastructure investment would end these projects. My question for Kimberlin Brown is: Why do you support ending these important improvements to our community?”
For reference on specific projects, check here.
SB 1 includes strict accountability provisions to ensure these funds only are spent on transportation projects, McClendon said. SB 1 also mandates the Office of Inspector General to oversee spending and make sure funding is spent efficiently and appropriately. In fact, voters will be asked to vote on a statewide ballot proposition in 2018 to protect the SB1 revenues in the state constitution so Sacramento politicians can’t divert the SB 1 funding for other purposes.
In the event Brown Pelzer is elected to the 36th Congressional District, as a member of Congress she has little to no sway over state taxes.
Time and again, constituents ask why Brown Pelzer continues to beat this drum. Because it is all-out effort designed to get overwhelming Republican turnout at the polls to stop a Blue Wave.
The Brown Pelzer campaign did not return a request for comment.
The effort to repeal the gas tax comes in the form of Proposition 6. The measure earned a spot on the statewide ballot in June after garnering more than the 585,407 signatures of registered voters required, according to a random sample count announced by state officials.