Okay, let me set the stage for this story. Whenever the Governor in California determines and declares a fiscal emergency in the state, he/she has the power to divert funds from the transportation fund for other purposes. The citizens tried to stop the practice through a ballot initiative, which passed years ago, but the Democrats then claimed that the wording, after the vote, did not in fact stop it. So for many years, the raid on the transportation fund was a yearly event and thus…the terrible infrastructure throughout the state today.
So now they go deep into the citizen’s pocketbooks, punishing them with even higher gas taxes, which I believe it will bring their gas prices to the highest level in the nation, and even higher vehicle registration fees, which are already atrocious.
And check it out…Governor Moonbeam has not even diverted one nickel from his “Bullet Train to Nowhere”!
If you are simply vacationing and considering visiting the “Golden State”…I’d think twice!
Both houses of the California legislature passed a 12-cent gasoline tax hike on Thursday, meeting Governor Jerry Brown’s deadline to provide an estimated $52 billion in new revenues, ostensibly for transportation infrastructure.
The bill, which also raises Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fees, barely reached the two-thirds majority needed to raise taxes in both the State Assembly and the State Senate. Passage marks a huge political victory for Gov. Brown, who is in his fourth and final term as governor. The political consequences for legislators, however, have yet to be seen, as voters have not yet felt the pinch of a tax hike that, critics say, will hit rural and working-class Californians hardest.
The vote in the State Assembly was incredibly close, with the measure receiving no more than the 54 votes needed. The Los Angeles Times reported: “The bill posed a test of the Democratic supermajority, with members in swing districts wary of casting a politically unpopular vote to raise taxes. Legislative leaders and the governor amped up the arm-twisting in the hours before the vote, negotiating side deals to entice members with projects in their districts.”
Jerry Brown says all the projects he added to entice lawmakers to support the gas tax are worthwhile. pic.twitter.com/GoG46gWURv
— Christopher Cadelago (@CapitolAlert) April 7, 2017
In the State Senate, the vote was only slightly more favorable to the governor. He lost the support of State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), a moderate Democrat who was the only member of his party to vote against the bill. In a statement reported by the East Bay Times, Glazer wondered why new taxes were necessary rather than diverting funds from the California High-Speed Rail boondoggle. But Gov. Brown gained an ally in the one Republican to vote for the new tax hike, State Sen. Anthony Canella (R-Ceres), who supported the measure in exchange for a project in his district, according to yourcentralvalley.com.
The bill now awaits Brown’s signature. The gas tax hike will be the largest in the state’s history, and the first in decades, in a state that already has some of the highest gas taxes in America.