How California Created a Road Map for America’s Interstate System

Backed by Gov. Earl Warren, the Collier-Burns Gas Tax Became a Model for Funding Freeways

In June, Californians should be marking the 70th anniversary of the Collier-Burns Act. But you probably have never heard of it, even though Collier-Burns likely has an everyday impact on your life.

The Collier-Burns Act of 1947 created the California freeway system by substantially raising the gasoline and other motor vehicle taxes and earmarking the resulting revenues for highway construction. If you drive on freeways, you are utilizing a legacy of Collier-Burns.

State Senator Randolph Collier and Assemblyman Michael Burns both played a part in enacting the law and received …