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State May Face Lawsuit Over Gas Tax Proposal

Sonora, Ca — If the state budget compromise negotiated by the “Big Five” lawmakers is approved by the legislature, a lawsuit will likely be filed shortly after by the California Association of Counties (CSAC) and the League of California Cities.

At issue is a plan to take $1.7 billion away from local gas tax revenue collected by counties and cities.

“If the Governor signs the current bills into law, the stage would be set for litigation,” says Paul McIntosh, Executive Director of the California Association of Counties. “But we haven’t given up the fight yet, just because there’s a tentative agreement between the leadership and the Governor, it doesn’t mean that we should stop pressing this issue with our individual legislators.”

CSAC claims that taking $1.7 billion in gas tax funds away from local municipalities would likely result in the elimination of 4,000 city and county public works employees statewide.

“The people we serve need to know that their state leaders have tied our hands,” adds McIntosh. “They should also understand that we will fight back, in the courts if necessary, to make certain that these kinds of budget gimmicks are off-limits for the future.”

The legislature is expected to vote on the budget package Thursday.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.