Hey, remember how the Gas Tax hike was supposed to fix our roads? About that...


From the "knock me over with a feather" files, the 12 cent a gallon gas tax purported to help fix California's ailing roads and infrastructure may not be enough for that after all! 

I'll wait while you compose yourself.

Yep. Turns out that raising the California gas tax isn't a long-term fix for California's roads because the money won't last according to a report from a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank Next 10 in conjunction with Beacon Economics. 

Because improving fuel economy and the growing number electric and hybrid vehicles on the road, the gross amount of money raised by the tax will not be a reliable source of income over time. 

"SB1 may prove to be a temporary solution to a growing and permanent problem," Adam Fowler of Beacon Economic said in a news release. The bill, passed by the California State Legislature, and endorsed by California voters in November, is supposed to raise at least $52.4 billion over the next ten years for road repairs and other transportation projects.  

Inflation adjusted fuel-tax revenue declined by 20 percent from 2010 through 2015 according to Next 10. Prior to SB1, the state's gas excise tax had not been raised for nearly 20 years. Inflation had been eating into the state's ability to fund projects according to the bill's backers. 

However, there's more than $137 billion worth of deferred maintenance and the gas tax would cover less than half of that. 

Plus, while Californians are driving more than ever (we logged more than 335 BILLION vehicle miles last year), improvements in fuel economy and the popularity of zero-emission vehicles like the Tesla, the actual amount of gas being taxed has gone down. The average amount of fuel sold in 2015 is nearly half as much as it was in 2002. 

So, let's recap. California already pays an astronomical amount in taxes for everything else in life. The amount of money being raised isn't half as much as we need. And raising the tax is barely a temporary help since everyone likes their low-mileage vehicles. 

Great job Legislature! You're really making the connections here. 

Read more with the Daily Bulletin


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