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Senate Rejects Tax for Retrofitting Bridges

From a Times Staff Writer

The state Senate rejected a bill Thursday to impose a 2-cent per gallon surcharge on gasoline to finance seismic retrofitting of state highway bridges.

The bill by Sen. Quentin Kopp (I-San Francisco) failed on a 22-16 vote, five short of the two-thirds margin required for approval.

The proposal was intended to pay for seismic safety improvements that were found to be needed even before the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake.

Opponents said that Californians already are taxed too heavily and that other means of financing the bridge work should be found.

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