Money and Business

Governor Brown accused of taking bribes as gas tax goes up

Brown calls allegations "preposterous"

Governor Brown accused of taking bribes as gas tax goes up

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Strong claims against Governor Jerry Brown Wednesday over the new statewide gas tax that will cause prices go up 12 cents at the pump, with the money collected going to repairing roads.

Some politicians in Sacramento are now accusing the Governor of taking bribes to pass it. Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez wrote a letter to the state's Attorney General, stating her concerns.

"Well the Gas Tax Bill, SB-1 was passed because votes were sold essentially. You had a bill that was destined to fail, it didn't have the votes that's why it took so long and then promises were made in exchange for votes being given for SB-1," explains Melendez. 

Others closer to home in Santa Maria don't believe the money is going where Governor Brown says it is.

"I think it's outrageous - I think they shouldn't be collecting more taxes, they aren't fixing the roads at all so I don't think they should be charging us a tax," says Santa Maria driver Ron Gesswine. 

But the Governor is steadfast in his rebuttal of these claims, saying listening to other parties is a part of democracy.

"When somebody says:"Here, here's $10,000, I want your vote" - you got bribery, it's illegal. When someone says: "You know, I think this bill would be better if you included these projects, or these ideas or these rules", we listen cause that's democracy," Brown explains. 

That's not enough for some Santa Maria drivers however, who say gas is expensive enough as it is.

"You could get a half a gallon off 20 bucks [but] now it's like oh you got 20 bucks, you could get a quarter of a gallon or if you have not even a halfway tank so it's hurting everybody," says driver Andres Del Real. 

There are still some however who approve of the tax like driver Kayana Cablayan. "We're seeing a lot of road construction now so I really think they're going towards the streets," she says. 

Now it's uncertain what the Attorney General will do about these new allegations. For the time being, the gas tax is still in effect. It's estimated it will cost the average driver about $120 a year.

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