Senator Chang Calls on Caltrans to Remove Gas Tax Signs

Signs Only Serve to Influence Voter Opinions on the Gas Tax
Monday, July 30, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) recently delivered a letter to the California Department of Transportation requesting the department remove taxpayer-funded signs that advertise and promote the recently enacted gas tax. Chang’s letter further calls for a review of funding of the highway signs and questions what value they offer drivers.  

“These signs are a blatant misuse of public funds,” said Senator Chang.  “Californians are not interested in paying for a public relations campaign to promote an unpopular tax increase. Worse yet, the signs fail to tell California drivers the complete story about the history of neglect on our transportation infrastructure. They do not tell drivers that every year, $1 billion dollars are siphoned away from transportation projects.  Now we are siphoning money to pay for useless signs.”

In 2017, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1, imposing a $52 billion tax over the next 10 years with no expiration date. The tax has been dubbed the largest gas tax increase in California’s history. A referendum on the November ballot gives voters the opportunity to keep or repeal the tax.

Recently, Caltrans has been constructing and displaying signs on roadways that highlight SB 1, informing drivers that the new law is “Rebuilding California.” According to recent news reports, the pro-SB 1 signs cost $700 each, but it’s unclear if this price tag includes labor and upkeep.

In her letter, Senator Chang writes, “No matter what the issue, it is not the job of taxpayer-funded state departments to influence public opinion on matters considered on the ballot. I write to urge you to remove these signs…”

Click here to read the entire letter.

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Senator Ling Ling Chang represents the 29th Senate District which encompasses portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties, including the communities of Brea, Chino Hills, Cypress, Diamond Bar, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia, Rowland Heights, Stanton, Walnut, Yorba Linda  and portions of Anaheim, Buena Park, City of Industry and West Covina.