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Republicans Say Car Tax Illegal

Republican lawmakers say a tripling of the car tax set to be imposed in the coming days is illegal and will be challenged in court.

The hike in the car tax, which will cost the average car owner about $130, has been included by Governor Davis as a key component of his plans for balancing next year´s budget – already $10.2 billion in the red.

Republican leaders say the car tax, which will bring in $4 billion next year, can only be raised if the state´s treasury is exhausted, a condition that does not exist today. They also contend that under state law the controller and not the governor has authority for raising the tax.