California’s roads are dilapidated. There is no arguing that point. But, they did not get that way because the citizens are not taxed enough. Quite the contrary. Californians pay some of the highest fuel taxes in the country. Lawmakers, however, routinely rob funds (collected through taxes and fees) that are earmarked for roads in favor of sending the money to the general fund. Who knows what happens to it then, but we can guarantee it is not spent on roads and infrastructure.
Well, California’s elected officials are at it again. Governor Jerry Brown announced a plan to generate $5B per year by increasing the fuel tax by $0.12 per gallon, initiating a $100 annual fee on electric vehicles, increase vehicle registration fees and creating “new taxes.”
The plan supposedly has oversight to ensure the money is spent on transportation and not diverted to other priorities. Excuse the skepticism, but we have heard that before.
California’s Cap and Trade program, which is the buying of selling of pollution credits, will increase the price of gas and diesel in the state by $0.15/gallon starting next year. Those who created the plan see the increase as “unintended” while those of us who understand how business works saw it coming a mile away.
Read Richard Coyle’s, President Devine Intermodal, op’ed in the Sacramento Bee. Click here.
Oh, and did we mention, 25% of all Cap and Trade monies collected will go to build high-speed rail. Forget about our dilapidated roads and bridges…who needs goods movement anyway?
With the aging and dilapidated highway network, congress is looking for ways to fund the necessary improvements. One such revenue stream is the federal fuel tax. A bill proposed by US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would increase the gasoline and diesel fuel tax by $.15/gallon, from $.184 to $.334, over the next three years. The last time the federal fuel tax was increased was back in 1993. Twenty years of inflation and decreased consumption as a result of improved fuel economies have negatively affected the funds available in the Highway Trust Fund.
Rep. Blumenauer then went on to re-introduce legislation to study how the government can practically employ a tax on the number of miles driven.