The gas tax repeal campaign “Yes on 6” recently sent out around 2 million copies of a “correction notice,” informing voters that the title of Proposition 6 appearing on the November ballot is misleading and could be confusing when people read it.
The leaflet looks very similar to an official ballot document. However, it was paid for by the “Yes on 6” campaign.
Proposition 6, which asks Californians whether to repeal the increased gas tax that was imposed in 2017 by Senate Bill 1, is officially named on the ballot, “Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by the Electorate.”
The “correction notice” claimed the official title is misleading and says the correct title should read “Proposition 6: Gas Tax Repeal Initiative.”
“The Yes On 6 campaign sent these correction notices out because politicians are lying by intentionally putting a deceptive label on Prop 6 which is actually the gas tax repeal initiative,” Dave McCulloch, communications director for “Yes on 6,” told The Epoch Times.
According to a survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in September, 50% of likely voters favored Proposition 6 when they were asked if they want to repeal the increased gas tax.
However, when the survey asked the same question with the official title of Proposition 6, only 39% of likely voters answered yes.
This dispute on the title of Proposition 6 began last year. The first title given to the gas tax repeal initiative was, “Eliminates recently enacted road repair and transportation funding by repealing revenues dedicated for those purposes.” Supporters of the initiative blamed Attorney General Xavier Becerra for the title and took their complaint to court.
In September 2017, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that the title from the Attorney General’s office was problematic, since the the words “tax” or “fee” did not appear in the title, making it difficult to understand. Becerra was ordered to rewrite the title.
However, the new title did not satisfy supporters either.
“When you get your ballot and open it up, you will not find the gas tax repeal initiative on your ballot,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Yes on 6, at a debate in Sacramento on Oct. 8.
“Sacramento politicians are so afraid that you want to repeal the gas tax that … they changed the title… It says repeal road repairs. It does no such thing. What it does is it repeal the recently enacted gas tax increase and the car tax imposed without voter’s approval.”
In 2017, Governor Brown and the state legislature passed SB 1, which raised taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel by 12 and 20 cents per gallon. It’s expected to gather $54 billion in the next decade to pay for road repairs. It also imposed several new fees, including an annual “Transportation Improvement Fee” for car registrations, which ranges from $25 to $175, depending on the cost of the vehicle.
The gas tax repeal campaign started a few months after SB 1 was passed. In April 2018, nearly one million signatures were collected to qualify the gas tax repeal measure for the November ballot.
Supporters of the campaign later successfully recalled State Senator Josh Newman because of his vote for the tax, erasing Democrats’ supermajority in the state senate. Last month, the same campaign also proposed another ballot initiative for the 2020 election to end the state’s high-speed rail project.