SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — On election eve Monday, one East Bay gas station offered people a chance to win free gas as part of a PR blitz in support of Prop 6, the measure to repeal part of the state gas tax.
While those who support the repeal are trying to call get votes with stunts aimed at calling attention to the rise in gas prices brought on by the tax hike, politicians and businesses are talking up road repairs we could lose if the tax is overturned by Prop 6.
Opponents of the statewide gas tax repeal measure on Tuesday’s ballot said they plan to take legal action in response to a free gas promotion by the measure’s proponents Monday morning.
Rallies took place in support of Proposition 6 at gas stations around the state, including one in San Leandro, at which attendees could enter a drawing for a chance to win a $50 gas card.
No on Prop 6 campaign spokeswoman Robin Swanson said, “It is illegal to offer anything of value for a pledge to vote, and our campaign will be taking legal action to address this desperate stunt.”
It turns out that the opinion of many voters depends on how the question of whether or not they support the tax repeal is phrased.
A just-released KPIX 5 Survey USA poll found that when voters were asked outright about repealing the tax hike, 52 percent said they would vote yes for the repeal compared to 40 percent who said we should keep the tax.
That is a 12 point lead for repeal.
But when voters are read the actual ballot language that says a “yes” vote means eliminating certain road improvements and transportation funding. The race tightens with those in favor of the measure dropping to 44 percent in favor, 41 percent against and 14 percent undecided.
In other words, the repeal is too close to call.
“The people in this state are having to pay more and more for gasoline and instead of fixing Caltrans and making it operate efficiently they raise the gas tax,” said GOP candidate for governor, John Cox.
The anti-repeal side is not even talking about the tax, instead casting the fight as a public safety issue. They claim the states bad roads and aging bridges are a hazard for all California residents.
“This is no joke when we say that this makes our roads and our communities less safe,” said Prop 6 opponent Emily Cohen.