California increased its gas tax last November 2017. The state excise tax, which is part of the transportation package approved and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April of last year increased the state excise tax on gasoline from 29.7 cents to 41.7 cents per gallon, a 12 cent increase. Diesel fuel also experienced an increase, going from 16 cents per gallon to 36 cents per gallon.
There is a lot of debate on the increase in the taxes, with some going as far as making ways to repeal the said increase. While it has certainly made some dent in the spending of citizens of California, it has also fast-tracked the situation of road repair projects in the state.
One of the reasons why the transportation program was enacted is to add around 5.2 billion dollars to the budget of the transportation construction and repair of the state. The gas tax increase was a way to make sure that the infrastructure would not continue crumbling as deputy director for legislation and finance of the California Transportation Commission Jacqueline Campion has stated that there is not enough revenue coming in yearly in order to maintain the present transportation system. And if there is not enough to just maintain, then there is also not enough money to make any updates or improvements in the transportation system.
Since the local government has started the collection of the gas tax last November, Californians might have also seen the increase
in the public works projects. In an article published last February, the California Department of Transportation has already spent around $118 million of the gas tax collection for maintenance projects. 11 projects have already been completed, and with more than 200 more beginning, ranging from environmental studies to engineering. The months hereafter will see big projects being done on large roads and more public works projects and highway construction projects will begin.
The increase of the road and bridge construction and repair also means more work is available. As early as August last year, Caltrans has already said that they are looking to hire 1,000 new workers in order to meet the needed manpower for the projects. And just this March, the California Department of Transportation says that it is aiming to add 2,000 employees in the next five years.
It’s a great time to get involved in the public works projects of the state. If you wish to be a contractor in the state of California, go ahead and start applying today. But one thing you must not forget is to ensure that you have the necessary licenses and requirements in order to work legally.
Aside from the licenses that you will need to apply for, it is also very important that you are able to provide a performance bond. The state requires these surety bonds on all public works projects over $25,000 in size. This is to make sure that you, as the principal, will conduct your work or business in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state. If the state finds that you committed fraud or violated the regulations, the surety company will payout the amount of the bond and you will need to pay that full amount back to the company.