Yes on 6: A potential step back for Sonoma County


Courtesy of Sonoma Index-Tribune

A no vote on Prop 6 ensures roadwork continues in Sonoma County

Ian MacGregor, Co-Sports Editor

Though road construction can be annoying, isn’t it worth it to drive on freshly laid pavement? If yes, then it’s imperative to vote “No on 6” this November.

Proposition 6 proposes to repeal the Road Repair and Accountability Act, initially passed in 2017. The Road Repair act placed a 12-cent tax on gasoline and a 20-cent tax on diesel fuel, and it raised registration fees with the promise of using the extra funds to repair roads and bridges across the state.

To repeal this act would be a selfish and unwise decision that would particularly impact Sonoma County. At 2700 lane miles, Sonoma County has one of the largest road systems in the Bay Area. The roads are already filled with potholes and uneven pavement, and if the gas tax is repealed, the county will have even less revenue to spend on road repair.

Driving on unsafe roads is also a surefire way to decrease your vehicle’s longevity. Well-maintained roads lead to lower average maintenance costs and a longer life for your vehicle, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group.

Vehicle safety is a key part of what makes the gas tax worthwhile. The uneven roads and potholes around Sonoma County cause drivers to make quick decisions behind the wheel, something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Many people are wary of the fairness of the gas tax, considering people who drive electric cars don’t buy gas. Never fear — those with electric cars will pay more for registration fees on their vehicles to make up the difference.  

A continuation of the gas tax will also make it easier to take on new projects road-wise. With funds readily available, the county will be able to stabilize the road system sooner rather than later.

A plus side of the increased gas cost is the rise in carpooling and public transportation use. The extra tax revenue can also be spent on public transportation, and an improved public transportation system would encourage students to increase use the system. This could lead to fewer cars on campus, perhaps alleviating some of the parking problems at SRJC.

It’s vital to remember that a ‘yes’ vote on Prop 6 would make it nearly impossible to re-establish any taxes on gas. If Prop 6 passes, California State Legislature would require voter approval to impose any new gas or vehicle taxes in the future. Though the taxes are beneficial, it’s unlikely that voters would pass a law favoring increased taxes.

When it comes to Prop 6, use the long view when making your choice. In the grand scheme of things, 12 cents per gallon is a modest fee to pay in exchange for smooth, safe roads. On behalf of the Oak Leaf, we urge you all to VOTE NO on proposition 6.

It’s really more of an investment than a tax.