One of the most contentious issues on this year’s California ballot is Proposition 6, aiming to repeal the Legislature-approved Senate Bill 1 gasoline tax. While this tax on virtually all Californians was supposed to be used solely for building and maintaining our roads – protected by a “lockbox” – funds have been funneled into non-transportation-related projects such as the state parks system and the ill-fated “train to nowhere.”
Prop. 6 would repeal this convoluted tax and force legislators to create a more straightforward funding arrangement that guarantees taxes raised to support road construction and maintenance actually are spent for this purpose. Knowing that voters would favor a proposition that would repeal the unfair gas tax, Attorney General Xavier Becerra created a grossly misleading title for Prop. 6. The simple truth is that when Prop. 6 is passed by California voters, it will force the Legislature to craft a new plan that will have to be approved by these same voters. There is little doubt that our roads need fixing but gas tax money should only be spent on these projects.
With the above in mind, let’s examine how the candidates to represent Santa Clarita in the Assembly view this issue. Incumbent Dante Acosta is opposed to the unfair gas taxes, fully supports Prop. 6 and has never wavered from this position. His opponent, Christy Smith, however, vacillates from side to side depending on who she is addressing. Smith has been quoted as saying she would not have voted for SB-1 but she also opposes the Prop. 6 repeal effort. This is political speak at its finest. She says she doesn’t like the gas tax but when given an opportunity to repeal it, she said she would refuse to do so. Anyone who is unable to take a stand on such an important issue is clearly unfit to represent the citizens of Santa Clarita.
I believe the choice is clear. Acosta’s independent leadership style has been a huge advantage for our community, which is why I believe Acosta is the right voice for us in Sacramento.