By Jon Coupal | 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?
No one doubts that California’s roads and highways are in terrible shape. But the blame for this rests squarely on our political class, not hard-working taxpayers who already live in a state that has the highest income tax rate in America as well as the highest state sales tax.
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