Stable, predictable, and adequate transportation revenues are needed if California is to plan and deliver an excellent transportation system. This report provides a brief history of transportation revenue policies and potential futures in California. It then presents projections of transportation revenue under the recently enacted Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Those revenue projections are compared with projections of revenue should SB 1 be repealed by voters in the November 2018 election. State-generated transportation revenues will be higher under SB1 than if the act is repealed. For 2020, the mean projection is that the state will collect $10.4 billion with SB1 in place and $6.6 billion without it, a difference of $3.8 billion. Over time, changes in fuel economy and other factors will change annual revenue By 2040, the mean projection is that the state will collect $8.6 billion with SB1 and $3.4 billion without it, a $5.2 billion difference. The total of all state transportation revenue collected between 2018 and 2040, assuming no other revisions to transportation revenue programs during these years, will be about $100 billion less if SB 1 is repealed than if the law is retained. The final section of the report addresses public attitudes toward transportation tax and fee policies, since future any policy changes must be informed by public willingness to consider revenue increases and opinions about which taxes or fees would be most appropriate.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transportation Finance

MTI Project



State taxes, Highway user taxation, Fuel taxes, Registration fees



1850-RB-Wachs-Future-California-Transportation-Revenue_0.pdf (2150 kB)
Research Brief (609 kB)
California Transportation Revenue Final Projections