Anti-tax advocates are mobilizing their forces to try to defeat a last-minute bill moving through the Legislature that would extend some fees on car registrations and tire purchases for several additional years.
Senate Bill 1455 by Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, was amended to detail several fees on drivers which would be used to fund air quality programs such as hydrogen fueling stations. Fee changes outlined in the bill include:
- A $20 smog abatement fee and various car and boat registration fees set to expire in 2016 would be extended to 2023
- A $6 air quality district fee set to drop to $4 in 2015 would be extended at $6 until 2023
- A $1.75 tire fee set to drop to 75 cents in 2015 would be set at $1.50 until 2023
"Just when they are needed most and a wide variety of new vehicles and technologies are coming to the market, California's clean transportation and air quality investment programs are all set to expire," Kehoe said in a bill analysis.
The bill is supported by agricultural interests, environmental groups, utility companies and the oil industry. It is opposed by the car dealers association and anti-tax groups, which have sent out alerts asking people to urge their representatives to reject SB 1455.
"We don't need a multi-billion dollar car tax increase in the middle of a recession," anti-tax activist Jon Fleischman says in a video posted on his blog.
The bill requires approval by two-thirds of the Legislature, meaning it must gain support from some Republicans.