SB 1: Gas Tax Will Hurt Working Families and increase Transportation Costs
Increasing taxes appears to have become the norm these days when politicians are having trouble balancing their budget. Unsurprisingly, that is exactly what Governor Jerry Brown and other policymakers have recently proposed with their gas tax hike.
They claim that increasing the gas tax is the answer California has been waiting for to fund vital transportation infrastructure projects, yet they fail to mention how devastating it would be to the state’s working families.
A Serious Blow To California’s Families
Brown’s proposal will increase taxes on gas by about 12 cents per gallon and raise yearly car registration fees by an average $48. It is easy to see how these fees can quickly add up, negatively impacting California’s working families and individuals in the lower socioeconomic level.
Furthermore, increasing the cost of a tank of gas is not something that will remain an isolated issue. For starters, a rise in gas prices will drive up the overall cost of transportation, causing the price of consumer goods to skyrocket.
At 13.3 percent, California already has the highest personal tax rate. Brown’s gas tax hike will only add another burdensome expense onto many Californians’ plates.
Where Will The Funds Go?
Democrats propose that the funds collected with the gas tax hike will fund a $52 billion plan to fix California’s transportation infrastructure. However, many are skeptical that the money will not be spent on the right projects since the state already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country and our roads are still in disrepair.
For instance, there is speculation that much of the funds from the increased gas tax will go towards the funding California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) public pensions. Governor Brown’s 2017-2018 budget already proposes an 11 percent increase to the pensions, totaling $524 million.
Regardless, California needs to locate funds to repair its roads but raising taxes and devastating working families is not the answer. Tax and fee increases will impact the middle class to such an extreme that far too many hard working Californians likely will not be able to recover.
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