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Jon Coupal


Jon Coupal is President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

At nearly 66 cents per gallon, California motorists pay the second highest gasoline tax in the nation. When the hidden “carbon tax” on producers — which raises the price of a gallon of gas about 15 cents — is counted, our state is far and away number one.

To add insult to injury, we are told that we are not paying enough. Sacramento has been hatching plans to squeeze even more from motorists including a proposal to charge every driver a $52 annual transportation fee, and a monitoring program so that car owners can be charged for miles driven.

Now there is no question that road and bridge maintenance is lagging in the Golden State. Most counties have an average pavement rating of “at risk” or “poor” according to a finding by the California Transportation Commission. In addition to the safety hazards caused by poor road maintenance, there is a direct cost to the average California driver of hundreds of dollars for vehicle maintenance and tire wear.

Before assuming that that the Sacramento politicians are justified in seeking to dig deeper into drivers’ wallets, it is important to point out that billions in transportation tax dollars have been spent on other programs. State government has been diverting a billion dollars a year in annual truck weight fees to pay debt service on general obligation bonds and another $100 million annually in gas tax revenues to the general fund.

To read the entire column click here