On Monday night, the West Hollywood City Council approved a resolution outlining how the City would use money allocated from the SB1 tax increase.
Under SB1, not only does the gas tax increase, but diesel goes up 20 cents per gallon, the annual vehicle registration fee goes up $38, and there’s an additional $100 registration fee for zero-emission vehicles (because you know, climate change!)
West Hollywood has more cars than people with around 37,000 vehicles according to Data USA, and the $38 increase in Vehicle License Fees will mean an additional $1,400,000+ without even considering the gas that needs to go in those cars.
So what will we get back in return?
The City of West Hollywood anticipates a one-time payment of just under $200,000 and annual payments of about $1,250,000.
With the money the City will get back from these new taxes and fees, what has the City proposed to spend the money on? Sidewalk repairs and street paving.
The City is applying to the California Transportation Commission to spend $200,000 on sidewalk construction and repairs and up to $600,000 on street paving, doubling previous years’ budgets.
Considering that SB1 is subject to an initiative to overturn it, perhaps the City is just being prudent on how it plans to use money that may not exist in a couple of years, but if this is all voters think they will get from the new taxes, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy!