California Proposition 42, Allocation of Gas Tax Revenues (March 2002)

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California Proposition 42, or the Traffic Congestion Improvement Act, was on the March 5, 2002 primary election ballot in California along with five other statewide ballot propositions.

Proposition 42, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment to the California Constitution, was approved.

Proposition 42 provided that, from 2003–04 through 2007–08, gasoline sales tax revenues were used for specified state and local transportation purposes. The revenues were allocated for transportation purposes specified under the Transportation Congestion Relief Program begun in 2000.

Proposition 42 also required that starting in 2008–09 the gasoline sales tax revenues continue to be used for state and local transportation purposes. The revenues are therefore allocated as follows:

  • 20% to public transportation.
  • 40% to transportation improvement projects funded in the State Transportation Improvement Program, a five-year transportation capital investment program.
  • 40% to local streets and roads improvements; with half of the amount (20%) allocated to counties and half to cities.

Election results

Proposition 42
Approveda Yes 3,355,553 69.1%

Constitutional changes

California Constitution
The successful passage of Proposition 42 added Article XIX B in its entirety to the California Constitution.


In 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed eliminating the sales tax on gasoline and instead increasing a separate excise tax. This would result in similar revenue, but from different sources. The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times said that the proposal would "eviscerate Proposition 42, a 2002 voter initiative designed to put an end to transportation fund raids."[1]

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Transportation Congestion Improvement Act. Allocation of Existing Motor Vehicle Fuel Sales and Use Tax Revenues for Transportation Purposes Only.
Legislative Constitutional Amendment.


Proposition 42 2002.PNG

The question on the ballot was:

"Should the California Constitution be amended to require gasoline and diesel fuel sales tax revenues be allocated for specified transportation purposes, including highways, streets and roads, and transit improvements?"

Ballot summary

The ballot summary prepared by the Attorney General of California said:

Requires, effective July 1, 2003, existing revenues resulting from state sales and use taxes on the sale of motor vehicle fuel be used for transportation purposes as provided by law until June 30, 2008. Requires, effective July 1, 2008, existing revenues resulting from state sales and use taxes be used for public transit and mass transportation; city and county street and road repairs and improvements; and state highway improvements. Imposes the requirement for a two-thirds of the Legislature to suspend or modify the percentage allocation of the revenues.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

Starting in 2008-09, about $1.4 billion in gasoline sales tax revenues, increasing annually thereafter, would continue to be used for state and local transportation purposes.


In favor of 42

  • California Alliance for Jobs: $ 1,053,534[2]
  • Granite Construction: $557,637
  • A. Teichert & Son: $354,556
  • Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3: $300,000
  • Herzog Contracting: $153,000
  • E.L. Yeager Construction Company, Inc.: $150,494
  • Desilva Gates Construction: $150,000

Opposed to 42

Path to the ballot

Proposition 42 was voted onto the ballot by the California State Legislature via Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4 of the 2001–2002 Regular Session (Resolution Chapter 87, Statutes of 2001)

Votes in legislature to refer to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 68 2
Senate 36 1

External links