West Sacramento

The Gas Tax: Jerry Brown Won the Battle Over It This Year. Will Republicans Win the War Over It in Election 2018?

California's new gas tax goes into effect November. 1. That means most drivers will see the price of gas go up by 12 cents per gallon, diesel will increase 20 cents a gallon. Starting January 1, you'll be charged a new annual vehicle fee ranging from $25 to $175, depending on the value of your car. Even electric cars, which don't use gas, will will pay a $100 annual fee (starting in 2020).

The gas tax increase is expected to raise more than $50 billion to fund Caltrans' "Fix It First" project, which aims to repair roads and bridges, and improve traffic congestion, across the state. Will they spend it wisely?

Governor Jerry Brown fought hard to get the gas tax (officially known as Senate Bill 1) passed last April, saying "real money" is needed to fix California's transportation systems, which have gone unrepaired and unexpanded for decades.

But the state's Republicans are fighting back, actively working to repeal the gas tax. There are two separate efforts to put repeal-the-gas-tax measures on the November 2018 ballot. And they say that because their polling on the gas tax shows it to be extremely unpopular, there's an excellent chance SB1 will be repealed a year from now.

So even though the gas tax kicks in on November 1, the Gas Tax War is just beginning.

Listen to this "Policy and a Pint" podcast as we discuss the gas tax and what it consists of, where the money goes, why it's a good thing, why it's a bad thing and -- most importantly -- how it affects you as a California driver, and maybe your vote next November.


Podcast for "On the Waterfront: Revitalizing the Sacramento River"

We've got Old Sacramento and now the Barn, but what else do we have along the Sacramento River? Why can't we have the hike/bike trails, the boat launches, the water taxis, and work/live/play options along the waterfront? Both West Sacramento and the City of Sacramento say they're making waterfront revitalization a priority, but what's do-able and what's not?

For our second event at The Barn in West Sacramento on September 22, we asked questions to people who know the Sacramento River well about what's in the works for the short term -- and what needs a lot of work to happen in the long term -- on both sides of the riverfront.

Listen to the discussion via our Soundcloud podcast page.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon bicycled by the Barn on his evening commute home and stopped to join us (photo by Rich Beckermeyer).

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon bicycled by the Barn on his evening commute home and stopped to join us (photo by Rich Beckermeyer).

Read This Before Opening a Brewery

"During the final session of this year's California Craft Beer Summit, a moderator asked three veterans of the industry if they'd start a new brewery in the state's current beer landscape. The answer was a unanimous "no."

In this Thursday's "Future of Beer" discussion at The Barn in West Sac, we'll be addressing pretty much of all of the topics and comments covered at last weekend's Summit, as it's obvious there's a lot of change ahead for the state's brewers and beer drinkers.

Tom McCormick, exec director of the California Craft Brewers Association (which put on the Summit), is on the panel and will give his take.

Read Full Story>