Sentinel staff report–
With the exception of just three neighborhood precincts, Citrus Heights residents voted in favor of repealing the legislature’s $52 billion gas tax and registration fee increase at the ballot box on Nov. 6th — a stark contrast with how neighborhoods closer to downtown Sacramento voted.
>An interactive voting map is included at end of this article
Proposition 6 sought to repeal SB 1, a controversial vehicle registration fee hike and 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase designed to pay for transportation-related improvements across California. The proposition ultimately failed statewide, with 56.8 percent voting “no,” according to latest results posted on the California Secretary of State’s website. A “yes” vote meant SB 1 would be repealed, while a “no” vote meant the tax and fee increase would stay.
The only neighborhoods in Citrus Heights to vote for keeping the gas tax were a precinct surrounding the Crosswood Oaks retirement community and a pair of precincts in the southeastern portion of the city near Sunrise Mall. The precincts near the mall, populated by a large number of apartment complexes, were also the only two areas in Citrus Heights where Gavin Newsom outperformed John Cox in the June primary election earlier this year.
Citrus Heights voters’ opposition to a tax and fee increase isn’t unusual, as the city tends to vote heavily Republican and has a history of opposition to tax increases. In 2012, Citrus Heights voters shot down a 10-year 1.75 percent utility users tax increase designed to pay for local road resurfacing, additional police officers and several public safety items. That measure failed with 56 percent of voters rejecting the tax increase.
While residents in Citrus Heights this November voted against the latest tax and fee increase, they will still benefit from it over the next decade.
In September, the City Council approved a $723,000 contract to pave 1.3 miles of residential streets, with the majority of funds coming from SB 1. The city will also continue receiving monthly SB 1 “direct allocation” funds from the state, which are projected to total $1.44 million by the end of fiscal year 2018-19.
Additional SB 1 funds in the form of grants have also been received by the city for current projects already underway, including a $190,000 grant to fund an Old Auburn Complete Streets Study, $109,000 for Phase 4 of the Mariposa Avenue Safe Routes to School project, and $180,000 for a “Multi-Modal Transportation Safety Program.” The majority of funding for a $7 million multi-use trail project from Wachtel Way to Sunrise Boulevard, known as the “Electric Greenway” project, will also come from an SB 1-funded grant.
An interactive map showing how Citrus Heights and Sacramento County voted on Proposition 6 is viewable below. Results are current through the most recent vote count update released Nov. 23, 2018. Sacramento County elections officials estimate roughly 12,000 ballots countywide remain to be counted, while a total of 508,000 ballots have been counted to date.