Pass Proposition 6 to repeal gas tax hike and send a message to politicians

What you need to know about Proposition 6: Gas tax increase repeal

What is Proposition 6? Here's a deeper look at the gas tax measure on California's November ballot that would repeal a 2017 increase and stop $5 billion a year in road repair projects.
Up Next
What is Proposition 6? Here's a deeper look at the gas tax measure on California's November ballot that would repeal a 2017 increase and stop $5 billion a year in road repair projects.

As I travel the state to promote Proposition 6 – the gas tax repeal initiative – I have met thousands of Californians from all walks of life who struggle with our high cost of living.

I’m seeing something very rare in today’s divisive political climate – unity among Democrats, independents and Republicans who see the latest gas and car tax hikes as unfair, costly, and regressive.

In July in the Central Valley, I was approached by a woman in her 30s who said she could not contribute to our grassroots campaign because she and her husband are struggling to make ends meet. Her husband works two jobs, and she juggles her own job and two kids. She got emotional saying that when she tells her children they can’t afford certain things, she feels like she’s letting them down.

She’s not letting them down; California’s politicians are.


Countless Californians are living paycheck to paycheck, while politicians enact taxes and fees without regard to the impact on working families.

The price of gas is a perfect example. This year Californians will pay nearly $1 more a gallon because of state taxes, fees and other mandates. After 2025, many will be paying close to $2 more a gallon.

It all adds up. The gas and car tax hikes passed in 2017 will increase the cost of living for the typical family of four by roughly $800 more per year.

Carl DeMaio.jpg
Carl DeMaio

We all agree the roads are in terrible shape, but Californians were already paying some of the highest gas taxes in the nation – more than enough to fix and maintain the roads. Unfortunately, Sacramento politicians refuse to spend gas tax revenues solely on roads, but have diverted the funds for transit, high-speed rail, bike lanes and even parks and recreation programs. The latest gas tax hike law allows politicians to spend the money any way they want, even to cover shortfalls in the state’s general fund.

What little money does make it to roads is riddled with waste, fraud and abuse. According to the Reason Foundation, California spends 2.5 times more per mile of state highway as the national average.

Politicians are trying to con California voters into thinking that the gas tax is earmarked for road repairs. Worse, they are shamefully running ads claiming that if you don’t accept higher taxes, you may put your life at risk from traffic collisions and collapsing bridges.

By voting “yes” on Proposition 6, you will not only repeal the latest increases in gas and car taxes, but you will send a clear message to politicians that they need to do more to address the struggles of working families.

Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Council member, is chairman of Reform California, sponsor of Proposition 6. He can be contacted at


The Sacramento Bee editorial board tackles the day’s biggest issues seven days a week, 365 days a year to keep you informed about California policy and politics.
We're a one-stop shop for timely, relevant viewpoints from elected officials and advocates on water, healthcare and housing and more.
Want to stay in the conversation? Support this forum for voices from across the state with a digital subscription to The Sacramento Bee.