Proposed Gas Tax Hike Blog 3-30-2017
California's governor and legislative leaders on Wednesday proposed raising $52 billion to fix the state's roads through a big gasoline tax increase, higher car registration fees and a charge on emission-free vehicles.
The 10-year plan would boost gasoline excise taxes for the first time in more than two decades, raising them 12 cents per gallon — a 43 percent increase. The tax would rise automatically with inflation.
For the first time, owners of zero emission vehicles would pay a $100 annual fee because they use public roads but don't pay gasoline taxes that fund highway maintenance.
I am all for the new tax on zero emission vehicles as they use the same highways and public roads. However, a 43 percent or 12 cents per gallon increase is ridicules to say the least.
The plan also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less. The fee, separate from annual vehicle registration fees, would range from $25 a year for vehicles worth less than $5,000 to $175 for cars worth $60,000 and up.
Gov. Jerry Brown said the plan would cost most drivers less than $10 per month and would be offset by reduced vehicle-repair expenses. The governor and Democratic legislative leaders hope to rush it through the Legislature next week.
"Yes, it costs money. And if the roof in your house is leaking, you better fix it, because it gets worse all the time," Brown said at a Capitol news conference. "This is mostly about fixing what we already have. If for some reason people try to fight this, and God help us if they were successful, they won't defeat this, and they’ll just delay it and make the expenses go up."
The proposal aims to address a $59 billion backlog in deferred maintenance on state highways and $78 billion on local streets and roads.
It includes a constitutional amendment requiring that the money be spent only on transportation projects, and it would create an inspector general to make sure money isn't misspent.
For the life of me I cannot understand why they need a constitutional amendment to make sure this tax money is not misspent? Is it because they have been misspending the gasoline tax money all along? Gov. Brown makes the statement that "if they don’t pass this increase, it’s only going to cost more in the future." Well, if they had been doing the infrastructure repairs as they came up for the last 2o+ years and not misappropriated these funds to the general fund and failing retirement system then we wouldn’t be in this predicament right now. Seems our bureaucrats are more interested in raising taxes than they are about fixing the broken system and doing what’s right. I say HUGE NO to the new gas and DMV tax and Yes to the Zero emission tax and a HUGE YES to fixing the broken systems that has put us into this position in the first place.