SACRAMENTO -- The League of California Cities, trade unions, firefighters and CHP officers made a push to defeat Proposition 6, which would repeal the recent 12-cent gas tax, higher vehicle registration fees and the tax on diesel.
The $5 billion raised each year is already being used on making long-neglected road and bridge repairs.
"Proposition 6 would make our bad roads even worse,” said Carolyn Coleman with the League of California Cities.
The recent Interstate 5 pothole accident in Sacramento, which damaged two dozen vehicles, put a spotlight on a stretch of road that is scheduled for repair.
“We absolutely demand that roads be repaired,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman for Yes on 6.
Those who want to repeal the gas tax increase say there is plenty of money to repair roads if state lawmakers didn't divert and misspend the money they already have.
“That needs to end,” DeMaio said.
Repealing the gas tax is the darling of Republicans trying to make inroads in a heavily Democratic state. It strikes a chord with those who feel overtaxed by big government.
"It's one thing to play politics, and I get that, but the time is over. We can't take $5 billion out of our road system and not expect there to be harm to physical life and injuries in California,” explained Matt Cate, co-chairman for No on Prop 6.
“We got a million signatures, half of those came from Democrats and independents. There's no Democrat or Republican way to go broke, at the end of the month you're just broke,” DeMaio said.
But not only are safety agencies in favor of the gas tax, so are business groups who believe updated safe roads are a key to economic prosperity, as well as saving on repair costs.
"We can save a lot of money for every household is by fixing our roads and our bridges,” Coleman said.
But the Yes on 6 campaign also believes Proposition 6 is a pocketbook issue.
"You'll immediately save your family $750 to $800 a year in lower taxes at the pump,” DeMaio said.
It's about the same amount as the average repair bill vehicles that are the victims of potholes and bad roads.