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Gas tax increase is one of many tax hikes

Uploaded: Nov 7, 2017
In case you didn’t notice, the Legislature’s increase on the gas tax hit your wallet on Nov. 1.
The effective date just happened to coincide with the shift to the winter mix of gasoline in California, a blend that is typically about a dime cheaper to produce than the summer blend. Presumably, the pols in Sacramento hoped you would not notice.
For truckers and those who drive diesel cars, it was a 20-cent per gallon hit—one that all consumers will feel in higher prices for goods that are delivered by the 18-wheelers. The bill, which included modest increases in the registration fee, is expected to produce $5 billion per year for highway and road repairs and maintenance. Sadly, that’s barely a down payment on the huge backlog because the pols have diverted highway funds to the general fund.
Some conservatives are mounting a signature-gathering campaign to overturn the tax increase that won a two-thirds voter in the Democrat-dominated Legislature. People in the Bay Area, who have been struggling with congested and battered roads, likely welcomed the tax and are unlikely to be too upset. Although, the East Bay Times reported a 2015 poll by UC Berkeley found that 63 percent of voters opposed a gas tax increase, while 74 percent opposed higher vehicle fees. That made no difference to the Legislature.
Bay Area voters also will have the opportunity to vote to increase bridge tolls that would climb annually tied to inflation next year. That measure socks the East Bay, which received a non-proportional small share of the benefits, but pays most of the bridge tolls compared to the South Bay.
The Legislature’s activities this year also included renewing the ill-advised cap-and-trade program that is a prime funding source for the governor’s absurd pet high-speed rail project. It also is projected to raise gasoline taxes by as much as another 72 cents by 2030.
The cap-and-trade and gasoline taxes were just a couple of the new tax burdens passed by the Legislature. CalMatters columnist Dan Walters wrote an intriguing piece on Oct. 8 about just how heavy the tax burden has grown on Californians. He did a bunch of original math that went well beyond the national organizations that study tax burdens.
By his calculations, taxing entities at the state and local levels will collect nearly $300 billion annually—an increase of $50 billion in just two years. That includes the $5 billion gasoline and vehicle registration fee increases as well as the voter-approved $2 increase in cigarette taxes and a 12-year extension on the income tax surcharge for the wealthiest residents. The state will collect about $200 billion of the total.
Walters notes that the total puts the state—not federal—tax burden at 12.7 percent of personal income. It would be entirely fair to ask what citizens are getting for that hefty charge—failing schools, roads and bridges that are falling apart and the endless jousting against climate change with its associated taxes.
Walters also pointed out that his calculations do not include fees for service like what a city would charge for reviewing your plans for a house addition.
For instance, a bill supporting affordable housing includes transaction fees on many real estate recordings.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

Never ever give any party a super majority. Why we have done this shows how disengaged we the people are.

Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Of course, we are already paying ridiculously high taxes in CA, that allegedly are suppose to cover things like fixing and maintaining roads. But our liberal state that is run entirely by one party, spends our hard earned money on things like paying outside law firms huge amounts of money to fight the federal government on preserving "sanctuary cities", while our liberal cities that are run entirely by one party spend our hard earned money on things like paying outside law firms huge amounts of money to fight the federal government in enforcing immigration laws. Of course, we also have billions of dollars for the "bullet train to nowhere", that could have been spent on fixing and maintaining our roads.

Liberals tend to forget that one of the main reasons we left Great Britain to establish America was to avoid overreaching taxes. Governor Moonbeam is King George, with his never ending "tax, tax, tax" mantra. God help us all.

Posted by Gladys46, a resident of Amador Estates,
on Nov 8, 2017 at 1:51 am

Gladys46 is a registered user.

A dome shaped lid to hold in the warmth and also Web Link method and research we are the authentic kings.

Posted by Native Californian, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 8, 2017 at 9:51 am

Would you rather live in Kansas where the state is falling apart because they cut taxes like a failed experiment in economics? Or Oklahoma where some districts have had to cut days from the school year because the state refuses to raise taxes? We neglected these freeways and roads for almost 30 years. Now we have to pay the piper. Electric cars are becoming more common, and they aren't paying their fair share because they don't use gas. The gas tax bill will put a small dent in a backlog of maintenance and projects that would have had to wait decades. Something is better than nothing.

As for the high-speed rail, what is your alternative? Build more airports? Maybe we should look around the world to China, Japan, and Europe for what works. That's high-speed rail!

As for the state Democrats having a supermajority. I remember when the Republicans had more seats. They were using the supermajority requirement to shut down state government and trying to drag the state down with them. It took the Obama administration refusing to back state notes. And banks setting a deadline, in which they would no longer accept IOU's to get enough pressure on Republicans to buy into a budget. All the while the credit rating dropped from A-minus to BBB and the California Board of Regents voted to raise tuition 32%. No thanks, I will take what we have now over the b.s. We had under previous governors. Jerry Brown may not be perfect, but he is the first governor in a long time (since his father) to get our states house in order.

Posted by Tom T, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 8, 2017 at 11:11 am

Tom T is a registered user.

I do not think it wise to give ANY party a super majority. I feel just as strongly about this regarding the R party as the D party.
Absolute power corrupts.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Nov 9, 2017 at 8:09 am

@Native Californian : “Would you rather live in Kansas where the state is falling apart because they cut taxes like a failed experiment in economics? Or Oklahoma where some districts have had to cut days from the school year because the state refuses to raise taxes?"

Regardless of their tax situation, I would rather not live in Kansas or Oklahoma, period.

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