What if I told you there exists an issue that we all — every Republican, Democrat, and Decline-to-Stater alike — could each agree on? I know, I know, that sounds like crazy talk in this time of hyper-partisan bickering, but it’s true. It’s really there. It’s the high price of gasoline.
How did we get here? Back in April 2017, Sacramento legislators quickly pushed through Senate Bill 1 (the gas tax), which increased state gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon, created a tax based on car values and increased diesel taxes. That hits all of us Californians regardless of party.
Let’s face it, we all use gasoline in one way or another here in car-crazy SoCal.
Gov. Brown and the legislators claimed the gas tax would increase average costs by about $10 a month. The true cost is much more than that. The average family of four now spends nearly $780 a year due to this tax. That’s the same amount a lot of Californians pay for Christmas, a vacation, or college textbooks.
Thankfully, we no longer have to let the bullies in Sacramento keep stealing our Christmases, vacations, or textbooks. This November, Proposition 6 is on the ballot to repeal the onerous gas tax. Now, I can hear the opposition already, “But what about the roads!” Not to worry, because once Prop. 6 is put in place, our roads will actually get repaired, unlike now.
The gas tax is deceptive. It was pushed on the notion that taxes collected would go directly to road repairs and improvements. They don’t. Like most things coming out of Sacramento, that’s a giant pile of lies designed to placate the masses. What’s really happening to our money — and make no mistake, it is our money — is that it’s purchasing items like a $25,000 conference table and other Caltrans pet projects in pro-gas tax legislators’ districts.
Not one penny has to be spent on road improvements or expansions. You read that right, not one penny. In fact, the way the gas tax is written, the legislators are not held accountable for how our money is spent, so in true Sacramento fashion, they continue to divert money away from roads. A study of Caltrans’ budget recently showed only 20 percent of our money was spent anywhere near roads. The gas tax actually prohibits the building of new lanes and actually encourages the reduction of car lanes to bike lanes.
That’s right, our money is being used to create more traffic and more congestion, not less. Everyone deserves good roads and reliable transportation no matter their party.
We Californians deserve better. We deserve to have our money spent on what politicians promise it will be spent on. Everyone wants politicians to keep their promises. After all, their promises are the reason we vote for them no matter the side of the aisle.
Even worse than being lied to, the gas tax is unending. It will increase every single year — forever. Can you afford to pay that? I know I can’t.
Everyone wants to keep more of the money they have and paying for gas is no exception. Just think about how many times you’ve driven across the street in order to save a few cents on gas. Now think about that same gas going up every single year without end. Sacramento should keep its promises and fix our roads, not treat voters as a blank check or an ATM.
Prop. 6 will repeal the unfair gas tax that impacts every one of us who drives and/or owns a car. Prop. 6 repeals the gas tax and creates a “lock box” for our money. Unlike now, this new lock box will guarantee 100 percent of our money will be spent on actual asphalt and concrete for our roads. Unlike now, no payments for staffing, government contracts, or diversion of funds will be allowed.
Prop. 6 will also dedicate 100 percent of the tax money collected through car sales to road maintenance and improvements only. At the same time, Prop. 6 will make the process more efficient and cut massive amounts of waste such as requiring competitive bidding for all projects.
So, let’s vow to put our partisan bickering aside, not believe the pro-gas tax Sacramento politicians, and vote to repeal the gas tax.
We must vote YES on Prop. 6. A YES vote on Prop. 6 is a vote for accountability, better roads, more transparency, less waste, and more money in our wallets.
Remember, if you vote NO, you vote for higher taxes, higher car fees, no accountability, fewer lanes, more traffic, and ultimately less money in your wallet.
Join me, let’s come together and vote yes on Prop. 6 in November for a better California.
Gwendolyn Sims is a social media consultant and resident of the Santa Clarita Valley for over 20 years. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among several local Republicans.