SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – The backers of Proposition 6 say the state’s official description of the ballot measure is unfair because it should at least mention something about a gas tax repeal.
When KPIX 5 asked people how they felt about repealing the gas tax, the responses were positive.
But when the same people were asked how they feel about losing the $5 billion in transportation funding from the tax, the responses were far less enthusiastic.
That is why supporters of the gas tax repeal say the state is stacking the deck against the measure, because the official ballot language never mentions the words ‘tax’ or ‘repeal.’
Instead the ballot says that Prop 6 “eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding.”
“It can make a big difference,” said pollster Mark Baldassarre of the Public Policy Institute of California.
Baldassarre says wording on the ballot can make or break a measure.
“A lot of times people will like things in concept, then the read the ballot language and go, ‘that’s not something I’m ready to vote,’ he said.
Indeed, a recent KPIX-5 Survey USA Poll found that when asked about the gas tax, 58 percent said ‘yes’ to repealing the tax, while 29 percent were opposed.
But when another poll included the official ballot statement which points out the loss of transportation money, support for the repeal dropped like a rock. Only 41 percent said ‘yes,’ and 48 percent said ‘no.’
Those in favor of the repeal say it’s unfair.
“The original ballot said gas tax repeal,” said Sue Caro from Yes On Prop 6. “Voters are confused.”
But gas tax backers like State Senator Scott Wiener say ‘fair is fair.’
“Sometimes the truth hurts,” said Wiener.
Republicans say they may push to recall Attorney General Javier Becerra who authored the ballot description.