What Are Some Facts About the First California Gas Tax and Increase?


Quick Answer

California lawmakers instituted the state's first gasoline excise tax of 2 cents per gallon in 1923. The idea of a gas tax first came from the Auto Club in 1921, and it was also recommended by the Highway Commission and the State Board of Equalization the following year.

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Full Answer

The legislation accompanying the first California gas tax bill placed a prohibition on the use of the monies generated to finance the construction of new roads. However, the ban on new road construction was lifted 4 years later with the passage of the 1927 Breed Bill tax increase. The bill is named after its sponsor, Senator Arthur H. Breed, Sr. of the California State Senate. The 1927 tax-increase bill carried a provision that 49 percent of the gas tax funds were allocated for road construction in Southern California, with 51 percent of the monies generated allocated for Northern California construction.

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