2008 California Proposition 91

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California Proposition 91 was a failed proposal to amend the California Constitution to prohibit motor vehicle fuel sales taxes that are earmarked for transportation purposes from being retained in the state's general fund. The proposition appeared on the ballot of the February primary election.


The proposition prohibits certain motor vehicle fuel sales and use taxes, that are earmarked for the Transportation Investment Fund, from being retained in the General Fund. Such taxes may be retained if the Governor issues a proclamation, a special statute is enacted by a 2/3 vote of the Legislature, repayment occurs within three years, and certain other conditions are met.

The proposition also requires repayment by June 30, 2017 of such vehicle fuel taxes retained in General Fund from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2008. Currently, repayment is generally required by June 30, 2016.

It also changes how and when General Fund borrowing of certain transportation funds is allowed.

Fiscal impacts[edit]

Increases stability of state funding for highways, streets, and roads and may decrease stability of state funding for public transit. May reduce stability of certain local funds for public transit.

What a yes or no vote means[edit]

A "yes" vote on this measure means that the State would no longer be able to suspend the transfer of gasoline sales tax revenue from the General Fund to transportation. In addition, the state would be able to loan specified transportation funds, potentially including certain local transportation funds, to the General Fund for essentially short-term cash flow purposes only. The State, however, may be able to loan to the General Fund, without express time limitation for repayment, certain state funds for public transit.

A "no" vote means the State would still be able to suspend, under certain conditions, the transfer of gasoline sales tax revenue from the General Fund to transportation. Additionally, the State would continue to be able, under certain conditions, to loan specified transportation funds to the General Fund for up to three fiscal years.

Developments before election[edit]

Proponents of Proposition 91 asked voters to vote "no" on Proposition 91 because the passage of Proposition 1A in 2006 has already prevented the use of gas tax dollars from being spent for non-transportation purposes. However, an independent campaign to pass Proposition 1A has been sponsored separately by the Southern California Transit Advocates, a non-profit transit advocacy organization. Other supporters include State Senator Tom McClintock and former State Senator Bill Leonard.[1]


Proposition 91[2]
Choice Votes %
Referendum failed No 4,794,776 58.31
Yes 3,427,588 41.69
Valid votes 8,222,364 90.67
Invalid or blank votes 846,051 9.33
Total votes 9,068,415 100.00


  1. ^ "Southern California Transit Advocates".
  2. ^ "State Ballot Measures" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. 2008-03-15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-14.

External links[edit]