of Prop 6
Voters wanted safety, sustainability, and facts.
With the excessiveness of false statements surrounding Proposition 6, CalGreen has created the six "major lies" of the Prop 6 campaign. We call them "lies," as their being proven false is an elementary task - even if just by simply reading Senate Bill 1 and Proposition 69. Hence, these six statements' continued use is no less than simple strategic deception.
1) “The money all goes to the General Fund and none of the money goes to new roads.” LIE.
Article XIX-A of the California Constitution, and more recently, the passage of Proposition 69 in June, does not allow any of SB1’s funds to be diverted to the General Fund, and can only be used for transportation. Further, Senate Bill 1 defines (restricts) all funds' use, only for "transportation purposes," as defined by section 11050 of the Revenue & Taxation Code. This statement is akin to saying the earth is flat.
2) “California can use existing revenues to fix our roads.” LIE.
With the Highway Trust Fund approaching solvency (1,2), future federal funds are highly unlikely for helping California, in this regard; since October 2017, the Fund has lost almost 20% of its revenues. Further, the State estimates an additional $80 billion is needed (2016-2026) to maintain and improve California’s transportation system - not even including current funding, as well as, an additional $78 billion for local (cities and counties) transportation improvements, over the same ten-year period. There is no way (financially and legally) the State can divert even close to $15 billion a year from other important services–health, education, public safety, the judiciary, etc., matching this needed transportation investment, especially since 85% of California's budget is predetermined by law. SB1 provides $5.2 billion annually–a modest, but sorely needed investment to keep California moving.
3) “Prop 6 will save families upwards of $700 a year.” LIE.
First, there are no calculations anywhere justifying this statement made by Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Cox to the L.A. Times. (And if these calculations are found, please email CalGreen, a.s.a.p.) However, in an opinion piece submitted to the Times, Garry Herron calls Cox's "$700" figure "bogus math," and "misleading, at best." He argues, with the 12-cent increase from SB1, a family would need to be purchasing around 5,833 gallons of gas annually [486 gallons monthly] to get to the $700 annual figure - which is extremely high, even in the Golden State. (Records from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show the amount of gas needing to be purchased annually (5,833 gallons) to corroborate John Cox's $700 annual figure has never occurred in California, at least since 1983, when drivers were buying more gas.) Herron estimates the "average driver" may only pay an added $6 a month ($72 a year) under SB1.
Further, the nonprofit research organization TRIP found in August 2018 that, "Driving on California roads that are deteriorated, congested, and that lack some desirable safety features costs California drivers a total of $61 billion each year." With 26,957,875 registered drivers in California (as of December 2017, the latest available figures), that means each driver pays an annual average of $2,626.79 for car repairs caused by deteriorated and congested roads. (The $61 billion figure does not even include other related costs, such as poor health and hospitalization from pollution and dangerous air quality related to driving and congestion, and lost economic potential, from such sickness.)
4) “Polling shows that voters support repealing the gas tax.” LIE.
Major statewide polls by Probolsky Research (17 Aug), the California Political Review (25 Aug), and the Public Policy Institute of California (24 Oct) finds Prop 6 failing, and almost every major newspaper in California is against Prop 6.
5) “Passing Prop 6 will help the economy by lowering what we all pay.” LIE.
First, the California Legislature, Jerry Brown, the Air Resources Board, etc., have absolutely no power or authority to influence the costs of a barrel of oil - the major determinant of gasoline prices. Global market demand, OPEC, and even Saudi Arabia (the world's largest oil-producing nation) can materially increase the costs of gasoline, not a 12-cent tax increase, 25 years overdue.
Research from February of this year by the Washington, D.C.-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association finds SB1 will, over the next ten years, generate $182.6 billion ($18.4 billion annually) in direct economic benefits, while also providing 68,203 jobs each year. If Prop 6 passes, these jobs and economic activity are gone, and the repeal will actually cause immediate unemployment for thousands of transportation workers, contractors, and small businesses (including veteran-owned), already on the job, because of SB1.
As well, recent research by the San Jose-based nonpartisan Mineta Transportation Institute (11 October) found, "between now and 2040, California will lose approximately $100 billion in transportation revenue if voters repeal SB1." Martin Wachs, the study's lead author, goes on to state, “California’s ability to plan and deliver an excellent transportation system depends upon the state having a stable, predictable, and adequate revenue stream. Californians have an important decision to make on November 6. A decades-long transportation funding crisis left California’s roads badly in need of costly repair and replacement. Without SB1, where will those funds come from?"
6) “We can fix the roads just by eliminating waste in the system and from Caltrans.” LIE.
Currently, there is absolutely no state law–outside of SB1 (Ch. 5 / Sec. 5)–mandating any savings, especially the elimination of waste, and employment of cost-saving innovations, in the State’s transportation system. Under SB1, newly codified Government Code Section 14460 creates the "Independent Office of Audits and Investigations," led by the first-ever Inspector General. The office is legally charged with making sure Caltrans eliminates $100 million annually, through waste elimination, savings, and innovations in transportation project design and delivery. Again, there is NO OTHER such mandate eliminating waste in state transportation policy - other than SB1.
Passage of Prop 6 actually repeals this cost-saving mandate, providing NO LEGAL FOUNDATION to cut expenses and eliminate waste.
If you want to save California taxpayers $100 million annually, vote NO on PROP 6.
Vote for facts.
Vote for safety.
Vote NO on Prop 6.
CalGreen formally contacted the "Yes on Prop 6" Campaign, 30 October 2018, for an official response, and none was provided.