By Dan Walters : sfchronicle – excpert
California’s top politicians and interest groups celebrated a few months ago when the Legislature passed a package of taxes and fees to pay for long-neglected improvements to the state’s transportation systems.
The heart of the $5-plus billion per year revenue package is a 12-cent-a-gallon hike in gasoline taxes that took effect this month, just as other factors, including a spike in global oil prices, hit pump prices that were already among the nation’s highest.
When they filled up their tanks this month, California motorists typically paid 40 to 50 cents per gallon more than they had been paying a month earlier.
As the tax increase went into effect, the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences were conducting one their periodic public opinion polls.
The results were potentially devastating for the political, business and labor union groups that had pushed successfully for the transportation package after decades of delay. Most of California’s registered voters would opt to eliminate the gas taxes and fees, the polling found…
If repeal succeeds, the state’s highways, streets and transit systems will continue to deteriorate, and Gov. Jerry Brown’s successor and legislators will have to deal with it.
One option might be to divert more revenue from the sale of carbon emission credits under the state’s cap-and-trade program to transportation, and less, or perhaps none, to Brown’s pet bullet train project…(more)
What the author fails to mention is that there are now two gas tax repeal bills moving forward and that one of them includes a NO MORE TAXES without voter approval element. What is also missing is any mention of the 20 cents per gallon tax on diesel that will have a devastating effect on the price of goods transported by trucks, especially the price of food. The last thing California needs is another inflationary tax that increases the cost of food.