Whistleblower Tips Prompt Demand for Public Records Release on Waste, Fraud and Abuse of Gas Tax Funds

Yes on Prop 6 Campaign Issues PRA Requests to 16 state and local transportation agencies

After receiving numerous tips from whistleblowers about misuse of taxpayer funds in California state and local transportation agencies, the Yes on Prop 6 – Gas Tax Repeal Campaign today announced that it has issued 16 separate demands for data and records pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.).

One whistleblower provided payroll documentation to prove that a single bus driver for a local transit system earned $227,181 in compensation last year alone. That’s just the beginning.

To encourage more tips from whistleblowers, the campaign also launched an anonymous tip website at www.GasTaxWasteWatcher.com

“The waste and abuse of taxpayer funds in state and local transportation agencies is staggering,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California – Yes on Prop 6. “While Sacramento politicians are raising the cost-of-living for taxpayers with the massive gas and car tax hikes, they are turning a blind eye to the wasteful spending in CALTRANS and local transportation programs,” DeMaio continued.

“We encourage principled whistleblowers with knowledge of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds at CALTRANS or local transportation programs to step forward and anonymously tell us what they know at www.GasTaxWasteWatcher.com,” DeMaio urged.

The tips received from several whistleblowers prompted the Yes on Prop 6 campaign to demand release of the following records from 16 separate agencies covering more than two-dozen data sets including:

  • Payroll, Compensation and Pension Payouts: All salary, base pay, overtime pay and total compensation data for current employees as well as aggregate pension payouts for retired employees.
  • Illegal Campaign Expenditures: All emails, contracts, records and expenditures relating to public relations, community outreach, public affairs, advertising, public education, polling or public opinion research, media outreach, op-ed writing, or any other communications services related to planned, active, or completed transportation projects, general operations of the agency, or SB1.  In addition, records are being sought on hundreds of SB-1/Your Gas Tax Dollars At Work signs being placed throughout the state with a reported cost of $700-1500 per sign.
  • Questionable Expenses: All expenditures related to travel, alcohol consumption by employees, vehicle purchases and use, and furniture and decorating expenses.
  • Real Estate Transactions: Copies of all transactions and holdings related to commercial, retail, residential, or vacant land held by various transportation agencies.

A copy of one of the PRA record requests to CALTRANS can be accessed here

The Yes on Prop 6 – Gas Tax Repeal campaign intends to utilize examples of wasteful spending during the Fall campaign.  “The Gas and Car tax hikes will cost the typical family of four $700 more per year in higher taxes, but the roads will not get fixed because the politicians will continue to divert the funds and waste the funds as they always have in the past,” concluded DeMaio.

Facts about this massive hike:

-On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon (20 cents more for diesel)
-Estimates suggest it will cost $700 or more per family, per year
–The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to Zinfindel
-Auto registration fees will increase as much as $175 a year – striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state
-The tax revenue goes into the state’s General Fund, meaning there’s zero guarantee the money will be used to actually fund the transportation “fixes” they claim will happen
-Nearly 1 million signatures were collected to qualify the measure on the November ballot; just over 550,000 were required

Media contact:
Dave McCulloch / [email protected]