New California vehicle fee signed into law by governor

| 10/17/2007

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put his signature on a bill that is intended to raise revenue to develop alternative fuel and clean-air technology in the state.

The new law, previously AB118, increases the annual vehicle smog-abatement fee by $8, bringing it to $20, and the registration fee by $3, bringing it to $34.

The boost in revenue is expected to result in $210 million annually that would be earmarked for programs developed to reduce greenhouse gases emitted from motor fuels.

It is the follow-up to a bill signed by the governor in 2006 that requires the state to cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 25 percent. The state has until 2020 to match emissions levels from 1990.

Opponents were calling for a veto. They are concerned the taxes on consumers could be used by oil companies to pay for pollution-reduction rules already in place.

Advocates say that isn’t true. The bill doesn’t include anything about allowing oil companies to tap into the funding, they say.

To view other legislative activities of interest for California in 2007, click here.