August 14, 2017
CONTACT:  Terri Stricklin 805-260-6291

Repeal the Gas Tax
SLO County Coalition Kick Off Rall

San Luis Obispo, CA — The Repeal the Gas Tax SLO County Coalition officially launched its campaign today at a rally held at the San Luis Obispo County Government Center Outdoor Plaza in San Luis Obispo.
Kicking off the rally, Andrea Seastrand, President of CCTA stated, “this rally is about standing up for the forgotten taxpayers of California.  Governor Jerry Brown and the California Democrats’ controversial gas tax and vehicle fee increase has launched a statewide campaign to let voters decide if they want to repeal it.”

Seastrand continued, “the new permanent tax increase takes affect November 1, 2017 and will add 12 cents to a gallon of gas and 20 cents for a gallon of diesel along with increases in vehicle fees of $25 to $175 annually, depending on vehicle value.  The University of California Institute of Governmental Studies recently did a poll which found large majorities of Californians opposed to higher gas taxes or vehicle registration fees.  An overwhelming majority of Republicans and independents oppose such increases, while Democrats narrowly favor the gas tax increase but oppose higher registration fees.  Overall the survey found that respondents opposed a gas tax increase 63-37 percent, and higher vehicle registration fees 74-26 percent.”

President of the San Luis Obispo Property and Business Owners Association, Leslie Halls, commented “we pay so much but have so little to show for it because the politicians have siphoned off our transportation taxes and fees for other pet programs.  The 2017-18 general fund budget is a whopping $125 billion, but less than 0.2% of it goes to transportation needs. Transportation has not been a priority in Sacramento.”

Randall Jordan, Chair of the Republican Party of San Luis Obispo added “the permanent tax increase is expected to generate more than $5 billion a year for road and highway maintenance and mass transit.  Mark my word, some of the tax increase dollars will be spent on other broad state purposes, and not on road and highway maintenance.”

“Governor Brown was elected in 2010 with a simple promise, no new taxes without voter approval, and he did just that recently when he rammed the largest tax increase in California history through the state legislature, and then calls anyone who doesn’t want to pay the tax, a freeloader” remarked David Kirk, president of Port San Luis Commercial Fisherman.

Ray Johnson speaking on behalf of A Better Atascadero said, “the Governor and the Democrats have over-stepped their authority due to having super-majorities in the Assembly and the Senate, and the people of California never got a chance to vote on the largest tax increase in California history.”

California Federated Republican Women Central Division Region III, Cheryl Burbach expressed her concerns “that this regressive tax will hurt working families, seniors living on fixed incomes and the poor.”

Joining the rally were coalition member organizations:  Central Coast Taxpayers Association (CCTA), A Better Atascadero, San Luis Obispo Business and Property Owners Association, Republican Party of San Luis Obispo County, California Federated Republican Women Central Division Region III, Atascadero Republican Women Federated, Estero Bay Republican Women Federated, Paso Robles Republican Women Federated, San Luis Obispo Republican Women Federated, Santa Lucia Republican Women Federated, North County Tea Party and Port San Luis Commercial Fisherman Association and San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen Association PAC.

Seastrand concluded that the Repeal the Gas Tax Initiative is an effort to gather 365,880 signatures from registered California voters in order to qualify the initiative for the November 2018 ballot.

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