California Department of Transportation

California's evaporating gas tax

California's evaporating gas tax

Californians can't win. Just when Congress finally approves a long-delayed transportation bill that guarantees five years of federal funding for road, bridge and transit projects, state officials announce that they'll have to slash funding over the next five years for the same kinds of vital infrastructure investments.

Last month, the California Transportation Commission said the state would cut transportation funding by $754 million — a 38% decrease. Why? Because revenue from the state's levies on gasoline sales, which provide much of that funding, plummeted as gas prices dropped and more fuel-efficient vehicles proliferated. Those falling prices cut the state's gas excise...