Car tax is latest idea to balance California budget
State lawmakers began moving toward a deal this week to close California's deficit with the help of steeper car fees that would cost many drivers hundreds of dollars annually, according to people involved in budget talks.
Under the plan, GOP lawmakers -- most of whom have signed anti-tax pledges -- would vote to triple the vehicle license fee that owners pay when they register their cars every year in exchange for a ballot measure that would impose rigid limits on future state spending. Motorists' annual license fees would rise from 0.65% of the value of their vehicles to 2%. For a car or truck valued at $25,000, the increase would be $336.
The higher fees would generate $6 billion annually, helping to fill a budget gap that is projected to reach nearly $28 billion over the next year and a half.
The proposal is being championed by incoming state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Democrats and advocates for the poor have opposed strict state spending limits, saying they would cripple government services.