In April 2017, the state enacted legislation (SB 1) to increase annual state funding for transportation in California. SB 1 accomplished this by (1) increasing revenue from various taxes and fees (including gasoline and diesel excise taxes and vehicle registration fees), and (2) dedicating the revenue to transportation purposes, including repairing state highways and local streets, and improving mass transit. SB 1 will raise $5 billion annually when all its taxes and fees are in effect.
Proposition 69 requires that revenue generated by SB 1 be used only for transportation purposes and generally prohibits the Legislature from diverting these funds for other purposes.
A YES vote on Proposition 69 means the Legislature will be required to spend SB 1 revenues on transportation purposes.
A NO vote on Proposition 69 means the Legislature in the future could change current law, allowing it to spend a portion of the SB 1 revenues on purposes other than transportation.
According to the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO), Proposition 69 would have no direct effect on the amount of state and local revenues or costs, as the measure does not change existing tax and fee rates. LAO states that the measure could affect how some monies are spent by ensuring that revenues from the recently enacted taxes and fees continue to be spent on transportation purposes.
Reflections on Church Teaching:
The "principle of subsidiarity" must be respected: "A community of a higher order should not interfere with the life of a community of a lower order, taking over its functions." In case of need it should, rather, support the smaller community and help to coordinate its activity with activities in the rest of society for the sake of the common good. - Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, #48 (1989)
"It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community. Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2239-2240.
"In a system of taxation based on justice and equity it is fundamental that the burdens be proportioned to the capacity of the people contributing." - Mater et Magistra, Encyclical of Pope John XXIII on Christianity and Social Progress, May 15, 1961 (132).