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Jerry Brown, Democratic Lawmakers Announce Transportation Funding Deal

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Update 1:15 p.m.: Under the deal, much of the roughly $5 billion/year in new revenue over the initial decade would be split between state and local transportation agencies for road repairs and maintenance.

Other pots of money would fund bridge repair and maintenance, public transit, matching funds for "self-help" counties that have adopted local sales tax measures, improved goods movement in trade corridors, and projects that encourage increased biking and walking.

Update 11:35 a.m.: Gov. Jerry Brown's office has announced a press conference  with the governor, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon at 2pm on the East Steps of the state Capitol.

Sources familiar with the deal tell Capital Public Radio that the terms include:

  • a 12-cent gasoline excise tax increase
  • a 20-cent diesel excise tax increase
  • a four percent diesel sales tax increase
  • a "transportation improvement fee" (similar to the vehicle registration fee that owners already pay the DMV each year), which will assessed at a progressive rate that ranges from $25 to $175 per year based on each vehicle's value
  • a $100/year zero emission vehicle fee starting in 2020

Original: California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are set to announce a transportation funding deal this afternoon.
Sources tell Capital Public Radio the package includes gas and diesel tax increases and a new vehicle fee. It also includes a fee for electric vehicles, whose owners do not pay gas taxes. In total, the deal would bring in an average of $5 billion a year over the first 10 years. The new taxes and fees would not sunset.

This will be a very tough vote for legislative Democrats who represent swing districts. It's also not yet clear whether moderate Democrats will support the deal. The governor, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) will now move from negotiating the package to selling it to lawmakers.

All 27 Democratic senators and all but one of the 55 Democratic members of the Assembly will need to vote for the deal for it to reach the two-thirds supermajorities required to pass tax measures through the Legislature.

A vote would likely come on Thursday, April 6th -- the last day before the Legislature begins its spring recess.

As part of the deal, the Legislature would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment in 2018 that would protect the new transportation revenues from being used for non-transportation purposes.