According to a survey from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS), 58 percent of voters oppose Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which was recently passed to fund transportation projects. Of those 58 percent that oppose SB 1, 39 percent responded that they strongly reject the legislation. SB 1 hopes to raise $5.2 billion annually for 10 years through a 12-cent gas tax increase and a new registration fee based on the value of a vehicle. Berkeley IGS Poll Director Mark DiCamillo states,
When you are reaching into somebody’s pocket for more money, people start to pay attention and get alarmed.
DiCamillo claims that Democrats in closely contested legislative districts could face a backlash for raising taxes. One Democratic State Senator, Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), is already experiencing some backlash in the form of a pending recall effort for supporting the tax hike. Assemblymember Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who opposes SB 1, has begun efforts to repeal the gas tax through a statewide ballot initiative. Many lawmakers that supported SB 1 have experienced a large drop in voter assessments of their job performance according to the Berkeley IGS Poll. We will have to wait and see what becomes of State Senator Newman and the recall efforts against him as well as Assemblymember Allen’s efforts to place an initiative on the statewide ballot to repeal SB 1.