It’s easy to spend money when it’s not your own. That’s the case with the proposed massive tax hikes on California drivers announced Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The $5.2 billion in taxes imposed annually are aimed squarely at the middle class — citizens who see their cars not as a luxury but as a necessity to get to work, take the kids to school and run their errands at the end of a long day. The governor and his tax-and-spend allies — including interests that get rich off the taxpayer dime — are pushing a gas tax hike of 12 cents per gallon on top of our already high gas tax plus higher vehicle registration fees that average out to about $50 per vehicle. This would leave California with the highest gas and car taxes in the nation by far.
Not surprisingly, taxpayers are not buying what the governor is selling. A Public Policy Institute of California poll shows that a majority of Californians, including 42 percent of Democrats, oppose the taxes. A recent California Chamber of Commerce poll showed that 80 percent of voters want to see spending reforms first, before new taxes.
There is a good reason for the lack of trust between the people and their government when it comes to transportation spending. General fund spending has increased by $36 billion over the last six years, and not one dime has been spent on transportation infrastructure. If legislators don’t view transportation as a critical priority, why should California drivers support even higher taxes?
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