California rejects GOP backed effort to repeal gas tax

California rejects GOP backed effort to repeal gas tax
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California voters Tuesday rejected a largely Republican-backed attempt to repeal a 2017 gas tax.

With 55 percent of the vote, the state ballot measure that sought to overturn the law to increase gasoline and diesel taxes by 12 and 20 cents per gallon respectively was rejected.

The measure would have also overturned a new annual licensing fee for vehicles ranging from $25 to $175.

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The ballot initiative was championed by GOP leadership, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump heads to California to meet first responders amid deadly wildfires Hillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds McCarthy, other Republicans back Ratcliffe to be next attorney general MORE (R-Calif.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCalif. congresswoman-elect bumps into Pelosi at airport How this year’s freshmen can save the Congress — and themselves Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters MORE (R-Wis.), and critics argued it was put on the ballot in part to boost conservative voter turnout for the election.

Republicans in the California House delegation helped fund the signature drive for the measure.

Nevertheless, Proposition 6 was expected to still appeal to residents of the Golden State burdened by the notoriously high cost of living, including some of the highest fuel taxes in the country.

The tax, originally signed into law through a state Senate bill, was seen as a way to incentivize cutting back on gas use in a state suffering from poor air pollution due in part to heavy vehicle use.

The bill took effect November 2017 and is expected to produce $54 billion over the next 10 years to be used for transportation infrastructure projects in areas like trains and highways.

Lately, California politicians have positioned themselves as environmental policy advocates. The state passed a law this year that would run California’s electric grid entirely on renewable energy by 2045.