By on September 6, 2015

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California electric vehicle drivers may pay $100 more in registration fees each year under a proposed bill that aims to raise $3.6 billion each year through gas taxes and fees that would repair and maintain California’s roads, according to the Associated Press (via Autoblog).

The proposed fees would be a sweeping reform to transportation funding that would increase California’s gas taxes by $0.10 per gallon, add $35 to vehicle registrations and increase vehicle fees by 35 percent over five years.

Already, gas and oil companies are lining up against the proposal.Coupled with California’s aggressive plan to cut emissions, the increased taxes and fees could be how many states cope with more electric cars on the road and better fuel economy.

California Governor Jerry Brown reportedly struck the deal to help raise money for more than $100 billion in needed road improvements in the state.

Included in the bill is tying the state’s gas taxes to inflation to fight rising costs and reluctance to increase taxes. The added $100 electric vehicle registration fee would join other states such as Georgia, Colorado, Wisconsin and Virginia to recoup revenue lost at the pump to electric cars.

“The big message we got is, whatever you do, try to be fair and make everybody pay a fair share,” State Sen. Jim Beall told Capital Public Radio. “And so the one way we can do that is to spread the cost over several different fees.”

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123 Comments on “California Roads Bill May Be The Future Of US Road Funding...”


  • avatar
    Rday

    California state representatives are so corrupt. It is a shame that they waste millions of dollars on fancy highway bridges, retaining walls, highway right of ways, etc that are works of art but siphon off millions to contractors,etc. the people of california should be able to vote on the tax and everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Where are these works of art bridges?

      It’s mostly just waste. Like most states, there is no accountability for going 30,40,50% over budget on projects. Since that will not change because of a dim electorate unwilling to put politicians out to pasture after 1 term, this will continue.

      CA makes a good whipping boy on this problem. Nothing will change.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        How about the $60 Billion CA’s guv wants to waste on not so high speed rail from nowhere to nowhere?

        Brown has violated the terms of the initiative and Fed law.

        Seems the CA Cts are going to shut him down:

        High-speed rail project: Dead train walking?
        http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/29/high-speed-rail-project-dead-train-walking/

      • 0 avatar
        ravenchris

        Do not underestimate the positive effects of a one term limit.
        In the meantime please do not vote for the incumbents.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The “Work of Art” bridge is the east span of the bay bridge, replacing the bridge damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. That span and it’s problems are still sucking highway dollars, a quarter century after the earthquake.

        • 0 avatar
          Nicholas Weaver

          That span is sucking down BRIDGE TOLL dollars: the SF bay bridges are funded by the common toll on all the bridges (except the Golden Gate), not highway funds.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Nope, the bridge was built with state and federal highway funds. The tolls, as high as they are, pay for a slew of other things, not even the bridge maintenance.

            That’s part of the problem with Cali financing of anything: a new funding source produces groups wanting a piece of the revenue stream. Long after bonds have been paid off, the tolls remain to finance those other purposes.

            When major repair and/or reconstruction is necessary, it has to come out of other funding sources. In the case of the bridge replacement, it was highway construction funds, and the problems of the radical design are being addressed with highway maintenance funds.

    • 0 avatar
      ckb

      “the people of california should be able to vote on the tax and everything else.”

      Too bad CA doesn’t have voter initiatives. Then they wouldn’t be stuck with all those mandatory programs and no ability to raise taxes to pay for them…oh wait, that’s exactly what happens with almost every one of their voter initiatives.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Bullseye! A majority of voters in a low turnout election obligate the state to fund pet causes. That process added 50 cents to a pack of cigarettes for smoking cessation, only to have the money diverted to childrens’ programs, with another 50 cents tacked on.

        Now there are bills to add another dollar per pack for smoking cessation, including a new tax on e-cigarettes that don’t produce enough revenue, even though people have switched to e-cigarettes to kick the habit.

        Part of the revenue is to go to Medi-Cal for expenses treating the effects of smoking, even though the dirty secret is that smokers die before they can run up big medical bills, and leave behind uncollected pensions and Social Security payments. Smokers’ early deaths are a net financial benefit to government, but you’re not supposed to mention that.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          So, actuarially speaking, lung cancer is good cancer? What are the worst in terms of patients’ resource wastage?

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The worst diseases from an insurance standpoint are the slow-acting diseases of old age. It’s not just the disease itself, but the debilitation that requires nursing home/in-home medical care. Those costs are ruinous.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Meanwhile, in SC, $1.61 will buy you a gallon of fuel.
    Just paid 1.97 in NC with our ridiculously high fuel tax.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert

      For every dollar Californian’s pay in federal taxes they get back 78 cents. That is to say they are a net contributor to the health of the federal government. South Carolina however receives back $1.35, for a net subsidy of $.35 per dollar. Maybe if South Carolina paid its own way in life the gas wouldn’t be so cheap.

      Whatever anyone may think of it or claim, the actual numbers show that there is an income redistribution that takes place, it’s just from the pockets of the urban to the suburban, not from the wealthy to the poor.

      • 0 avatar

        The House controls the purse. California sends more people to the US house of representatives than any other state. Nancy Pelosi was the speaker of the house for many years. So Californians have been voting for people who have been enacting these policies for the most part.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        It’s absurd to chide red-states for the effects of redistributive federal taxes, which blue-states vote for en masse. Poor Californians vote to tax wealthy Californians. West Virginia, Montana, Hawaii, etc live more comfortably as a result, while CA falls apart. Oh well, not too much longer before blue-state-labor gets a one-way ticket to the glue factory in lieu of a public pension. The suffering will be over soon, I suppose.

        Animal Farm isn’t just a book Democrats can’t read…..

    • 0 avatar
      smokingclutch

      They should pay you 1.61 per gallon to live in the cradle of the Confederacy.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I paid $3.55 for 91 octane the other day. Anyone that looks to California for leadership should be culled.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      How much of that is due to taxes and how much to area blends of fuel (I’d say regional blends but it seems fuel in California is even more specialized that what would constitute a region)?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        We have Cap and Trade by CARB fiat. They sell fuel allotments to producers, adding an invisible billion dollar tax to our gasoline on top of the highest legal gas taxes in the country. The blend BS is mostly a distraction so the frogs don’t realize how hot the water in the pot is getting.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        California also has 10ppm sulfur gasoline. Which is quite a bit lower than the standard gas sulfur limit.

        Though the rest of the country will be getting 10ppm sulfur gasoline in the next couple years with epa tier 3 coming.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Wouldn’t need all this money if they didn’t insist spending billions on that high speed train to nowhere.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    It takes a special genius to ruin such a beautiful state.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I was born in Huntington Beach and grew up there. Have wonderful memories of my youth there.

      But the State of California has since morphed into a vile and repulsive place where the cost of living is out of control.

      I say, Bully for the people who want to live there. They deserve whatever they get. Let them pay for it!

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Agreed HDC, it’s not the politicians, it’s the voters, just like the rest of America. You get the government you deserve. Californians deserve to be abused.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        highdesetcat,
        Move to Nowheresville NM then. You don’t have the need or requirement that you have in California.

        Every country (modern with lots of infrastructure) has these issues. It isn’t just California.

        How much money does California generate for the Federal Government?

        I wouldn’t live in California, to build and maintain the State will costs billions.

        Remember you guys that live in the backblocks wouldn’t have what you have if it wasn’t for these major money spinning States and Cities.

        NY, LA for example generate how much income for the US. This money flows on to the yokels and hillbillies that live on or near the fringes. Without these major centres and States the US would not be as it is. You need places like California, NY, etc.

        If you don’t like paying taxes live where you are, but remember your standard of living is driven by places such as California and NY.

        California isn’t perfect and has corruption and so, how many one horse towns are not corrupt and run by very few families?

        I’d bet where you live there is corruption, like yourself who claims to employ illegal Mexicans. What is the difference. You have thousands and California has billions.

        It’s all economies of scale.

        • 0 avatar
          jthorner

          Californians pay $3,117 more per resident to the US federal government per person that California receives in Federal spending each year. Most of the “Red States” who like to talk about freedom and economic independence are in fact being subsidized by California.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state

          North Dakota, by the way, is the biggest “taker” state. $66,785 federal subsidy per resident.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Far and away the largest factor burying California’s state and local budgets is the unabated flood of millions of illegal immigrants. Californians did do something about this. More than 20 years ago they passed Proposition 187 by a huge margin. And the federal courts immediately threw it out.

        Election theater is awfully transparent these days.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s done much to ruin a lot of the state is the doubling of population in around 40 years. That doubling is mostly from absurd levels of immigration.

      The doubling means more than a doubling of cars on the road, and mileage driven.

      As for taxes, I don’t know what the numbers are now, but in the mid-90s the average Californian family was paying an extra ~$1,400 or so in taxes to provide ~$4,000 to the average immigrant family. (US National Academy of Sciences, 1997.) My guess is it’s probably gotten worse.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Heh.. in another 10 years the Europeans will be a lot more empathetic to our multi-culti blues. But at least *our* illegals don’t bring imams. Yet.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          @RideHeight, lovely display of ignorance and ethnic bias. Many of the “Imam” immigrants you speak of escaping to Europe are Christian Syrians and surrounding, that have been caught in the civil war and were desperate to get away from ISIL. But even if they weren’t, I’d still prefer them over the misogynistic, over -weight, over-priviledged tea-bagger we have now in ‘Murica.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well said!

            But crazy christians breed just as heavily as the other abrahamics.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Those ‘tea-baggers’ you ignorantly hate are the reason we’re the country people run to. When your neighbors of choice are the majority, the whole world will be one big Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “But even if they weren’t, I’d still prefer them over the misogynistic, over -weight, over-priviledged tea-bagger we have now in ‘Murica.”

            Completely agree. This country will never prosper until we have eliminated the insidious white male, who has spread throughout the world like a swarm of locusts and contributed nothing of value.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            As Internet Commenters, we (to varying extents) live in “Ivory Towers”.

            We’re fed fear by the media-filled bucket-load, and at some point, the complexities of the world (political, socioeconomic, moral) just cause mental overload, and we retreat into a “comfort zone”, mentally turning the many conflicting realities of today’s world into a more easily defined, almost “black/white” attitude.

            It’s a perfectly natural defense mechanism, at least in my view.

            One sees it constantly these days, and it’s a shame that the Internet is now a showcase for the raw emotions of those that are unable to cope – I blame the ubiquity of access to the Web – which (seemingly ages ago) was privy to academics, nerds, gamers and the like.

            IOW, the Internet used to be a lot more fun.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dolorean, it used to be that MY German relations in Germany were dismissive and aloof of the illegal immigrant problem we in America (especially California) are experiencing.

            We spent a couple of months in Germany earlier this year, and my oh my, have they changed their tune about all those refugees flooding to Europe to get into Germany.

            Now their tune is, “why doesn’t America take in more of these refugees!?”

            To which I replied, “America is already saddled with more than 15 million illegal immigrants!”

            And there simply is no retort for that.

            Nah, I think it is the best thing since sliced bread that all these illegal immigrants are flooding Europe, sucking their resources dry. Poetic justice.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @shaker

            The socioeconomic and political phenomena the plague our society predate the internet. The internet is a window into the psychoses and miseducation of common citizens. Personally, without the internet I’d never realize that people who vote for federal redistribution routinely mock poorer states who don’t believe in redistribution.

            I always assumed the median-income blue-state voter was not aware. On the contrary, they boastfully punish the affluence of their home state, regardless of the damage it does to the economies that fund our union.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “IOW, the Internet used to be a lot more fun.”

            Everyone on it back then was well educated, smart, well employed and young.

            Add 30 years of carbohydrates plus middle-class job destruction to the commoditization of computers and those bright pennies become us.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            HDC,
            I was just in Germany and have been in the past and they seemed to complained about the Turks, Eastern Europeans, Muslims, etc, taking their jobs.

            France is similar, there is quite a bit of tension in the EU regarding immigration

            No different than in the US or even Australia with many blaming the immigrants for taking the jobs that the “locals” don’t want and then complain they are on welfare and there is no 100k job for them.

            Your observations counter what I’ve witnessed.

            People are people no matter where you go on the planet.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I don’t like waste or paying more in taxation.

    I just love some of the views here. Why me? Why can’t the government find money elsewhere?

    The reality is some of you guys with this attitude also complain about government borrowings as well.

    If you expect a service the money has to come from somewhere.

    I saw mention of different states and what fuel tax they pay. But I don’t see no mention on the average wages and income differences between the states.

    California is expensive, so is many states in the NE. Why? Look at the differences in household incomes and cost of living etc.

    If you want cheap, move into the deep south. But then you will whine, where are these services I had in California.

    Road infrastructure costs lots of money to build and maintain.

    The money has to come from somewhere. So, who ever uses public infrastructure should also pay to maintain and expand it.

    The money has to come from YOU.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      @Big Al- If you want to understand the American mentality regarding taxes, look no further than how we fund our military. We spend more on defense than anything else and in exchange, we get failing infrastructure, weak social services and lousy public schools. The people crying for government to cut expenses will sacrifice social programs and good roads before they sacrifice defense.

      Also, Profits > Everything Else.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        “We spend more on defense than anything else…”

        No, we don’t. We spend more on Social Security than defense. The Fed also spends more on health care than on defense.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          Indeed you are correct!

          http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/breakdown_2015USrt_16rs5n

          1.2 trillion on government pensions
          1.4 trillion on government healthcare
          0.9 trillion on government education
          0.8 trillion on National Defense
          0.5 trillion on Government Welfare
          1.4 trillion on all other spending

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Guess we best better go tell Gramma she’s gotta get her bony arse out there and get back to work ’cause we spends too much $$$ on the Social Security. Lazy old people.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Or she can just do what all smart old people do, you know, save money their entire lives for retirement. If your 80 and don’t have money to retire to a nice quite house on a few acres of land, explain why I should care? Unless that money was stolen or other wise taken, that responsibility is solely on the individual, we should get rid of social security in its entirety.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        Have you researched the federal budget at any point within the past 10 years?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ mr.cranky

        We’ve defunded the military to fund retirement avarice and welfare programs that discourage employment. Predictably, reducing the share of government funds allocated to productivity, employment, R&D, education entitlements, construction, and job training has merely undermined our economy. We’ve been deficit spending and borrowing to plug the difference.

        If you’d prefer productivity spending to be outside of the DoD, that’s fine, but don’t disseminate false information to shut down public discussion about public budgeting. The military is the only successful public entitlement we’ve ever created and it’s explicitly constitution. It’s not surprising that some people want to increase funding to Reagan levels. Don’t lie about these people because you disagree with them.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        mr.cranky,
        The area where spending should be cut is industrial/agri welfare, handouts etc.

        This is costing the US taxpayer $2.4 trillion a year.

        Australia is/was moving more and more towards a user pays society, ie, Postal system, Australia Post. They are talking about upping the price of posting a letter to $1. Why? Because that is how much it actually costs to deliver a letter.

        I do know billions is diverted to the US Postal Service, subsidised.

        I do believe we must help and protect those that are in genuine need of assistance, but there are many who will not pick fruit and vegetables, stack shelves etc here. It’s beneath them, the government is gradually winding up pressure on these people.

        Using the subidised/protection money given to industry for economic infrastructure development would be a better way to improve the competitiveness of a nation.

        Just going from State to State, County to County with money to buy the voter is not in a nations best interest.

        Taxation is a must. Without it we will not have the public services and infrastructure we have.

        The one who use this “stuff” are the ones who should pay.

        Why not place a tax similar to a GST for road infrastructure. That would be the fairest user pays system. That is on all goods and services.

        • 0 avatar

          Big AL the US postal service has its issues but it’s not really subsidized (other then mail for the blind and absentee ballots)
          http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2013/jul/24/american-postal-workers-union/postal-service-claim-not-fully-target/

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I can effectively & efficiently state the problem with California’s, the U.S.’s, and in fact, many other nations’ problems in devising an intelligent/rational system of collecting & spending money/taxes/wealth:

      O=Other
      P=Peoples’
      M=Money

      The amount of taxes/money/wealth wasted, shat/p!ssed, frittered away on either useless things, marginally useful things, or necessary things that are 2x to 100x (literally) more expensive than they would be if those deciding to spend/allocate the funds were spending THEIR OWN MONEY is mind-boggling.

      OPM.

  • avatar
    brn

    I’m not from CA, but my understanding is that CA has the highest gas tax in the country. Yet they need to raise money for “needed road improvements in the state”?

    The first thing that comes to mind is that CA needs to look at how they’re spending the money, rather than how much more they need to raise. Maybe CA could learn a little from other states that manage to do more with less.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      As a former CA highway engineer, I can verify that lots of highway money is diverted, with federal gas tax money being given to regional transit to subsidize bus systems and trolley systems, construct bike lanes, and even pay for ferry service. Voters voted to spend the sales tax on fuel on highways, but it’s been diverted to pay down the budget deficit every year, and not a cent has gone to highway construction or maintenance. Even state gas tax money has been diverted, with maintenance crews given just enough for routine maintenance, and little left for the pavement rehab or replacement that’s badly needed in most of the state. As for projects to expand capacity, forget it.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Sounds like the issue of high taxes and too much spending in CA goes well beyond the gas tax.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Lorenzo, thank you for your input. The behavior you listed is exactly why we have the problems we do. If I was told that I have to pay an extra ten cents a gallon on top of our waste-inducing cheap gas prices, I normally would be all for it. But I’m not because I know the funds would not go to their intended use. So, unless there is a “lockbox” that makes it illegal to misappropriate the funds, wise voters should be hesitant to support it. Which is a shame because we need to be pouring resources into our aging infrastructure.

        Love the talk about wasting money on Social Security…how about the $30 billion on the B1B bomber? A plane that has seen only token use due to its flawed design (I’ll forgive the disappearance of its original mission). Waste is everywhere, not just in things that are supposed to help individuals. So the carping should be across the board. BTW, nice math test to log in. Hopefully that will keep the tea-bagger count down.

        • 0 avatar
          SaulTigh

          Way to bring up a weapons program that dates to 1973 as an example of government waste. Might as well b&$%h about how much money we wasted jumping into WWI late.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Actually, the B1B is a textbook example of waste for a variety of reasons. Cancelled in the 70’s,Reagan revived the program in the 80s and the B1’s of today are those mid 80s built planes. The government went ahead and built planes for a threat that no longer existed. And then had to convert them to a non-nuclear role. The idea was to provide bombers that could replace the venerable B-52. Years of massive cost overruns, major technical hurdles of which many were never corrected, fuel leaks, and on an on. So, today we still rely on the B-52. So, yeah, even with 1970s roots the example is still valid. Instead of supporting the country, that program supported a few fat cats.

            I’m not against defense spending; we have the air superiority that we do because of a conscious effort and I support that effort. What I don’t support, and is relative to the original story, is that the government is all to often willing to throw tax dollars away and only a few reap any benefits for those expenditures.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            In hindsight I agree with you that the only one to do well by the B-1 program was Rockwell but it wasn’t nearly so obvious at the time.

            The B-52 was a dinosaur by 1970. The North Vietnamese, or more accurately their Soviet advisers, shot them out of the sky in droves during the brief 1972 bombing campaign. That was with air defense equipment from the early 60s. In a European war in the 70s let alone the 80s the B-52 couldn’t have done anything except loiter 800 miles back launching cruise missiles which you didn’t need a bomber at all for.

            The B-2 wasn’t even a notion until the mid 70s and wouldn’t be ready for another 20 years.

            They needed something to fill the gap. The B-1 was what they had. The B-1A was almost as ill suited as the B-52. It was turn it into the B-1B or don’t have a bomber at all.

            It was a somewhat better plane than the B-52 for that brief window in the 80s before the B-2 was done. Nobody knew that the Soviets would fall apart and the bombing mission it would be left with would take place against ragheads without shoes.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Live long and prosper, Dan.

            And if you already have, do it some more.

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        That’s it right there Lorenzo. Kali has been raiding the gax tax proceeds like it was a petty cash fund for years. They didn’t stop even after initiatives were passed by the voters to stop this sort of activity.

        The new proposal is pretty much more of the same. They’ll use the money on everything but road repair and expansion.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Looks like someone is waking up to the crumbling infrastructure problem, and finally making the EV owners pay something for using the roads instead of getting off scot-free with non-taxed electricity and rebates up front.

    But the commentariat at TTAC seems to have swallowed the usual juice of right wing incomprehension at the world around them.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The EV owners won’t be paying the added 10 cents per gallon, and ALL vehicle owners will pay higher registration fees, while the sales tax on gas and diesel remains in the general fund for deficit reduction, years after citizens voted to use it for highways.

    • 0 avatar
      Ihatejalops

      You do realize that this kind of tax screws the poor. But you must be checking your TTAC from your limousine or 100K Tesla I suppose. Blame the right wing as the CA pols continue to screw the poor and working classes. I’d go on a bigger diatribe about how it really works, but most would just shutdown and not listen.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        As usual the argument the gas tax screws the poor. Most of the poor could use a proper mass transit system, or gawd forbid, a city system that doesn’t need so much car transportation to get around. The suburbs screw the poor. Hard to find a job unless you’re mobile in a sprawling mega-complex like LA.

        And I’ll blame the right wing, the center and the left wing if it helps. I’d fly a plane onto the WH lawn if I thought people would listen. I drive in Europe paying 90 euro (bout 100 bucks) to fill up, which is pretty damn pricey. But I get a lot in return for it. Great highways that, well without Stau, I can go as fast as I like to drive most of the time and good services on them. In America, the first people to b**** about gas prices are always the ones driving the huge pickups or SUVs. First they gripe the prices/taxes are too high and follow it up by whining about how far they have to drive to work everyday. And these are nearly always the same people who claim that their Freedomis being infringed somehow. They choose the poorer MPG vehicle and to live at a distance from work. Both choices, both freedom of choice, and both not my problem.

        I don’t get upset about the taxes. I just want them to do what they are supposed to be used for. Not for House and Senate members to vote themselves a new pay raise first thing each new session begins. Not to fight against social issues that have no bearing on my wallet. Not to assist their lobby chums and not to vote to send me to another war that had no business being intiated.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Outside of a few cities public transportation is just a way to connect one ghetto to the next, and I really don’t care to give tax money to support a bus system that inevitably ends up creating more dependency on social welfare and child services. Have you ever been to America? Explain how the suburbs screw the poor? Hard to find a job? Since when? If you don’t have a job then your either wanting something above your capability, have a uselessness degree, or your happy just living on the backs of the rest of us. Jobs are a plenty.

          You should get very upset over taxes, it screws everyone.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            A “uselessness” degree? Now your posts make sense. Put the cat back in your Hummer; the fumes have carbonated your brain.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If you have a degree in the study of ancient civilizations and expect to get a job in that field, best of luck, if your fine with a management position doing something totally different with that degree, that’s a different deal, and just having a 4 year degree in anything should make a $60k a year job very easy to find with a little effort.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Exactly. Plenty of jobs picking fruits, washing dishes, digging ditches and car wash detail. Please don’t let these jobs go to illegal aliens!

            Everyone wants to start at CEO, work their way down to the mail room, then out the door.

        • 0 avatar
          Ihatejalops

          As usual?! Have you been to a poor area in this country, they rely on their cars the most. Also, this country is spread out and a mass transportation system costs way too much.

          Europe is an (almost) bankrupt continent has denser population spreads and mass transit was adopted because people don’t move around as much and easier to build when things aren’t spread out. The cultures are different and thankfully so. You can only drive fast in Germany (well, Italy too if you can play dumb tourist) but the autobahn is always under construction.

          How do you know that those with pick ups and SUV’s are the complainers? Notice how the rich are buying the EV’s?? The poor complain too, but no one listens and they have to live far from city centers since they’re priced out of the addresses which is those politician’s fault. No. Don’t raise these taxes that are essential to living.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Delorean

          Amen, Brother.

          Ultimately, we pay diddly in the US for taxes by first-world standards. Of course, we also get very little in the way of services. So if you are of the class that you can waste your time on this blog, please STFU. You pay very little, and you don’t need much. Be thankful. If you think there is some utopia where you can pay even less and get more, you are in some serious fantasy land, kids. Personally I would prefer to live in the European model of higher taxes but great services, but luckily I make enough that it doesn’t really matter either way.

          “Waste” isn’t even rounding error in the cost of running a state or country, despite what the yapping masses like to think. We have massive cost overruns because we have this stupid process of awarding work to the lowest bidder. How about accepting the BEST bid, not the lowest? That de-incentivizes lowballing, and realistically, is ANY project ever done exactly on budget? Certainly every household project I have undertaken has cost more money and more time than I initially thought. You never know exactly what you are in for until you actually start – goes for roads and bridges just like bathrooms and kitchens.

          As for California raising taxes and fees on cars some piddly amount, let me start up the WAAAAHMBULANCE for them. In my home state of Maine, I will pay more than $2500 to register my vehicles this year. And I am OK with that. If the annual excise tax went away, it would just result in higher taxes elsewhere. TANSTAAFL.

          Personally, the first thing I would do is to make all the highways toll roads. Works out very nicely in Maine, our turnpike runs a very nice surplus every year. If you don’t want to pay the toll, you can stay off the highways. Let the actual users pay for the roads.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Maine has 1.3 million people and a state budget of $7.7 billion. The city of San Diego has 1.4 million people and a city budget of $1.4 billion.

            Granted, a state has programs and expenses a city doesn’t, but six times as much? Instead of stoically paying $2500 to register your “fleet” of vehicles, maybe you should be complaining too. After all, Massachusetts gets by on $1,000 less per resident!

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Lorenzo

            The auto excise tax does not go to the State of Maine, it goes to the city/town you live in.

            You cannot compare a city to a state, even with similar populations. What is the area of San Diego compared to Maine – how many roads does that one city have to maintain compared to a state, just as one small example? Plus little things like snow removal and heating – not much of that in San Diego. How much does the city of San Diego get from the state of California for things like welfare?

            I am not complaining much, I have direct control over how much I pay in auto excise tax. I could drive a Corolla a pay a tiny fraction of what I pay now. As I said, if the excise tax was lower, the property taxes would just be that much higher. No free lunch.

            Ultimately, the smaller the state population, the higher the burden per taxpayer for equivalent services – hence why “Taxachussets” has a smaller tax burden per person than Maine. But you know what – totally worth it to live here and not there!

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Poor people in NYC have plenty of mass transit. Their poverty doesn’t seem to be more comfortable or does the incidence of poverty seem to be more responsive to government policy.

          You’re daydreaming.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “..you must be checking your TTAC from your limousine or 100K Tesla I suppose.”

        Worse, from a Canadian retiree’s den, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        There are few “right wingers” in Kali government, Ihatejalop. Beyond the figurehead RINO governors occasionally elected the powerbase is all Democrats. Lived there for 4o years, you’re obviously unfamiliar with the makeup of the Kali political power structure.

        Get over the left-right crap. It’s a uni-party that favors the state over the individual. You’ll never win, citizen.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    It would help Californians IF the CA politicians would just STOP siphoning off the money from the gas/road taxes/auto related fees for other expenditures and instead use those funds for the road infrastructure as originally intended.

    The same principle applies to any other state where those state’s gas tax/funds are siphoned off by the local politicians to fund other expenditures instead of the roadway infrastructure as it was originally intended.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “through gas taxes and fees that would repair and maintain California’s roads”

    Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    As a former resident of California, this is how they’ll fix things:
    Tax
    Spend
    Tax
    Spend
    Tax
    Spend
    infinite etcetera’s

    • 0 avatar
      Ihatejalops

      As a native, it’s usually:

      Tax
      Spend on social programs
      Tax
      Spend on social programs
      Tax
      Tax
      Tax
      Spend money on everything except for infrastructure and american poor.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    The photo makes me muse upon introducing the first generation of AVs to THAT.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Good popcorn – so delicious.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Nice White Diamond 1993 Buick Riviera headed away from the camera in lane 2!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Thanks.

      That answers my unasked question, which I was going to inquire about at some future point (maybe).

      I did have the correct first guess/hunch, but needed confirmation.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Recognizing that EV owners need to share the cost of roads is a start. Tax credits, free access to the carpool lane and free recharging stations all over the place are quite a nice boon to the $100k Tesla luxury car buyers.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    California sucks, went there a few times and have no interest in going back. I’m allergic to their traffic, taxes and gas prices to name a few things.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Californians, we need not grumble and ask what idiot is responsible for the roads; we need only look in the mirror. In the 1950s, we stood by while auto, tire, and rubber interests colluded to destroy the Red Car streetcar system in Los Angeles, leaving the state’s biggest metro area totally dependent on cars and roads. In the 1970s, we let a drunkard whose name rhymes with Joward Harvis sweet-talk us into passing Prop 13, a property tax limitation measure which benefited existing property owners while screwing everyone and everything else, including and especially roads and schools. In the 1980s, we passed a new measure which reversed some of the damage to schools by further screwing everything else, including roads. In the 1990s, a gray governor raised the vehicle license fee, which might have helped with roads, but we’ll never know because we reversed the change by recalling him and replacing him with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who we now remember for impregnating his maid.

    It’s true that gas taxes are diverted to pay off state bonds. Lawmakers could raise the state income tax to pay for such things instead, which would be fairer since it’s not regressive like a gas tax…but that would REALLY get the jackals yapping.

    It’s also true that revenue goes to a variety of types of transportation projects. But the two biggest problems in California’s urban areas are congestion and pollution: way too many cars crowding onto the same roads, beating up the same pavement and taxing everyone’s lungs. Anything that gets some cars off that road will provide some relief to the commuters and the pavement and the children sucking desperately on asthma inhalers. So here’s a shocker: improving bike lanes so it’s safe for people to bike instead, increasing bus service so people can get to work timely without a car, adding commuter rail so people can get in from the ‘burbs without being stuck in traffic forever, all that stuff benefits automobile commuters and roads just as asphalt patches do. It also benefits our lungs.

    Increased fuel economy, heavier vehicles, and more cars on the road mean there’s gotta be a tax increase, like it or not. It’s also true that contracting and building could be made more efficient, and that public-private partnerships could be expanded, and that cap-and-trade revenue could be diverted away from environmental projects and into road projects. That’s why those things are also in the bill. It’s got both Republican and Democratic ideas.

    Compromising and solving problems…remember that? Nah, I guess it’s more fun to dig in your heels to make sure the government can’t accomplish anything, and then bitch about the government not accomplishing anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      That’s actually a rather nuanced view I really didn’t expect out of the anti-tax cadre of nuts and goobers that constitutes the B&B when discussing politics. The Red Car was set into decline in the 1940’s ironically because it wasn’t publicly owned so it was unable to resist being bought out by consorting interests to dismantle it.

      But you hit the name on the head, destroying Public transit then passing prop 13 basically crippled California’s government for no particularly good reason. This is why even in a Democratic Republic there are reason’s we opt for a polity rather than full Democracy. The people can be trusted to cut their own throats if the rich can spin the argument for the dagger well enough.

      Honestly, a 10c hike isn’t huge, even at $2 gas that’s a 5% increase, volatility alone in the market causes that to shift more day to day than the hike itself. A $1 hike would be drastic but not unheard of but in this case since it’s regressive it’s best to not increase it that much until necessary.

      The real answer is reversing Prop 13 completely and revaluing property every 5-10 years rather than the current system. It was sold as a way to keep runaway real estate values from driving the average Californian from their own, what it amounted to was a way for home prices to skyrocket without the tax windfall to slow their ascent. Claiming otherwise would be a fool’s errand though I’m sure some will eagerly take the challenge.

      But thanks for giving me some faith in this crew, HotPotato.

      • 0 avatar

        @Xeranar

        A 10 cent gas tax hike is ridiculously small.

        I would also blame Jerry Brown for essentially welcoming illegal immigration, and measures such as Sanctuary cities that enable illegal immigration.

        And I would blame the US Congress (both houses) and the President (who I voted for twice) for what is basically a population explosion policy on immigration, and for failing to pass a national, mandatory E-Verify, which would do more than any single other policy to stop illegal immigration.

        And the mainstream mass media (NYT, WaPo, I’m looking at you) for failing to report on immigration policy in terms of numbers. (The population of the US was 200 million in 1970; it’s now 320 million. Around 2/3 of the growth is due to mass immigration, including progeny of immigrants.)

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Statistically that’s a normal growth model. Around 1900 we had about 75-80 million, by 1950 we had roughly double that 150-155 million, doubling that by 2000 would be about 300-310 million, meaning we’re actually slightly behind the curve. There is really very little evidence to support this argument, in fact if we’re going from 1970 to 2010 it did quadruple but our population grew slightly faster meaning it only picked up triple the percentage but still sits at only 12.9% of the total population from 4.7%. Not to mention the fact that I’m a member of that same group you want to dissuade (I’m only 3rd generation American and my one side of the family arrived in the 1910’s).

          It’s a hard argument to claim a ‘population explosion’ when really our population growth has slowed down exponentially for various reasons. We’re just seeing a decline in the white European population as those people form smaller families due to work and wealth while poorer non-whites still continue to have elevated numbers of children for various reasons none of which are all that sinister. America by 2050 will certainly be browner and very Catholic but that’s not a bad thing.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “elevated numbers of children for various reasons”

            Because they are paid too.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “America by 2050 will certainly be browner….. but that’s not a bad thing.”

            Spanish and Portuguese plantation owners in the Americas thought darker was better, too. They found that the local Indians their soldiers captured died too damn soon so they outsourced slaves from Africa.

            It will be your privilege to be an elderly patient in the care of descendants from both those dusky groups. Just remind them that you’ve always been on their side.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Ugh….You see I didn’t want to give a sociology exposition on this but if you’re going to be crass I’m game.

            The main reasons why poor have more children than the rich is a combination of access to birth control and abortions, education, and religious views on abortion. Basically if you’re poor you’re far less likely to have education that would inform you on methods of birth control and then be able to afford those methods. Never mind that the poor communities tend to be serviced by faith organizations better than the government for most medical services which tend to leans towards abstinence only education and support. This combined with a greater number of factors leads to more children in the poverty range than in the upper-middle income bracket.

            Never mind that the upper-middle income bracket is dominated by no or one child-households for the exact opposite reasons, they have more abortions on average through private services and tend to use better birth control in the first place.

            You would have to be ludicrous to believe that the meager state offerings actually make having multiple children feasible to manage. It’s like arguing that a double-amputee is better off because he gets a bit more money because he has no legs instead of just one. The ROI of more children on a poverty benefit system doesn’t come close to covering actual costs of those children. It’s these perceptions that lead politicians to make sweeping and illogical statements while ignoring the empirical evidence that removes the faux moral outrage and presents things in cold hard facts.

            As for RideHeight……wow. Could you be a bit more racist? I mean, you’re not quite burning your cross on my lawn but you’re certainly got the hood on. To argue people who are not ethnically European are less civilized, intelligent, or otherwise moral people is just a falsehood. If you presume these people hold some innate hatred for me as an individual who fell into a social category that hasn’t existed since 1865 you’re also sorely mistaken. Never mind that the Latino community shares large aspects of biologically European ethnic identities. I try to live by the good deeds I’ve done. If my country looks less like England and more like Brazil by the time I’m a withered up old husk I won’t mind. Then again since I’m widowed I’ve been open to multiple relationships (not all at once) where my partner was not ethnically European to the same extent I am. So why don’t you take your hood off and try that statement again with some heart this time instead of making outdated and historically inaccurate innuendo to promote your socially vile view…

            Just, you know, think before you admit to something you may regret later. :)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Believe what you like old boy, but you and I will live to see the end of the United States as we know it. You’re a bit more bullish but I am bearish, personally I don’t feel like being a target for home invasions because I am old and ethnically part of a group which founded the fracking nation simply because certain psychopaths have targeted me for destruction. I will see too it my progeny have a future in another nation if necessary and my line continues undiluted. To each his own.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Woah…..undiluted? >.>

            I….I just don’t know how to respond. I’m at an awkward loss for words especially given that you and I grew up probably not more than 10 miles from each other and that while Pittsburgh is the most-white major city in America (less than 15% non-white) it also has a vast ethnic sphere of southern, eastern, and western Europeans along with a growing number of non-whites from foreign countries.

            I just don’t get the paranoid fear of marrying somebody you love who doesn’t fit the archetypal mold of your ethnic identity. My wife was white but also a large part Native American and if I were to branch out for love again it doesn’t really matter. I understand to each their own but some of the ethnocentric views make me question the values we put forward in America’s ‘melting pot’ if we never really melt into one and other….

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s how I feel and I won’t mince words to play PC. Maybe when I’m older my feelings would change. Depending on who or what you want to believe that may be one of the reasons the border stopped being enforced in the first place. I’m not sure what I believe anymore but I will trust my instincts and those are to preserve my line even if that requires a permanent relocation. Again, to each his own. Every man must make his own choices and only he has to live with them no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The United States has always been a xenophobic nation, which is the ultimate irony, given that the Europeans who formally founded the corporate republic (that Disney World copied) that the United States became (Lady Liberty on Ellis Island welcoming huddled, cold, impoverished masses) were non-native invaders, and that much of the labor used to build out its infrastructure were African slaves, Chinese quasi-slave laborers, Irish, Polish, Czech, German, Italian, Jewish, Greek, Lebanese etc. skilled and non-skilled immigrant laborers, and that many of these groups succeeded to the point that their children now hold their nose up and scoff at the type of labor practiced by their parents and grandparents, instead employing Mexicans, Albanians, Hatians, and other immigrants (legal and otherwise) to do the “nasty & hard work” for them.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Wasn’t North America darker before it turned lighter?

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “To argue people who are not ethnically European are less civilized, intelligent, or otherwise moral people is just a falsehood. ”

            I agree so that’s why I made no such claim. My point is that everybody’s culture has a long and vicious backstory that denies sanguinity when major power realignments occur.

            I scoff at religion, you scoff at race.
            But at least I realize that throughout human history they’ve both been vastly deeper and more dangerous factors than anything that motivates you or me in a normal day.

            And we’ve both been blessed by dint of our forebears’ savagery to enjoy mostly normal days in our brief bubble of relative inviolability.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Religion has played a far greater factor than race has in human history. Race as we understand it is a social construct dating back only about 600 years in relatively human history. Prior to that ethnic/nationalist identity was more important but again, there is no race war coming. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. If anything Whites will have a healthy plurality within society for the foreseeable future of the US.

    • 0 avatar
      smokingclutch

      Yes, this.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimmy7

      Thank you, Hot Potato. And as long as we’re being rational, I’d like to throw in that having the largest ports in the United States means that every time someone in the middle of the country buys something made outside the United States it contributes to the crumbling of the infrastructure and the pollution in California. We pay for them in more ways than taxation transfer.
      Public/private partnerships? Given the history of the OC Toll Road, I’d give that a pass. Most public/private partnerships wind up like going to lunch with the guy who always says he’ll get the check next time.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Prop 13 is the beginning, middle, and end of Californians funding and cost of living woes. New residents and new-homeowners (young Californians) are forced to finance the state, while the entrenched long-term residents live relatively tax-free. Prop 60 merely compounded the problems of Prop 13 by giving even more power to existing long-term residents.

      However, Prop 13 is just a symptom of California’s loathsome judiciary. Serrano v. Priest declared that property tax funding of California’s school districts was a violation of equal protection as interpreted by the state constitution. Therefore, the aggressive (at the time) Robin Hood programs could continue unabated. A similar Texas case went before the US Supreme Court (San Antonio ISD v Rodriquez). The SCOTUS said strict local property tax funding did not violate the US Constitution, still California has refused to overturn its decision in Serrano v Priest; instead, the state has grasped more tightly to its own interpretation of equal protection, viewed through the lens of the state constitution.

      If people believe that their property tax revenues will not go to pay for local schools, they will refuse to pay property tax. Between California’s redistribution schemes, poor union contracts, and Prop 13, California’s public school system has collapsed. Without decent public schools, direct democracy becomes a liability, not an asset.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Distrust of government comes from experience. Problem solving can occur when there’s some semblance of transparency. Transparency is the opposite of what we have.

      Try looking online to learn how much of CA’s roughly $17 million/day revenue stream from the gas tax actually goes to road repair. Let me know what you find.

      That’s just over $6.2 billion/yr the state collects in gas tax per year.

  • avatar
    Fred

    In my case I bought a retirement house in California and compared to my place in Texas the best I can figure is that overall taxes are about the same. What I do see is that California over regulates and Texas under regulates. Pick your poison.

  • avatar
    TW5

    California’s new taxes are not the future of road funding. States have relatively weak taxing-power compared to the Federal Government, since states cannot easily retain residents who don’t want to pay the tax. Also, small states have trouble increasing fuel tax revenue because motorists can drive across the entire state without purchasing fuel.

    The future of road funding is turning more state highways into US highways. Some of Californians problems may be attributable to the lack of US highway funding for roads west of the Rockies. Federal fuel taxes will necessarily rise, and state fuel taxes will necessarily decline. The federal government may also need to assume more responsibility for maintenance, rather than giving the money to state regulators, who often waste the money.

    Not saying more states won’t follow California out of a panic, but it doesn’t represent the future because California’s taxing schemes can’t sustain themselves and won’t be around for the long-term.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I think motorists would be less upset about higher fuel taxes if they knew the money was actually going to be spent on roads that make their travel more efficient and comfortable. Unfortunately, about 20% of fuel taxes (nationally) get spent on mass-transit and bike trail subsidies that account for between 2 and 5% of total miles traveled. I like to bike, but it is a joke to believe that more trails are going to dramatically increase bike commuting, and higher mass-transit subsidies have not made any significant inroads in getting people out of their cars and onto a bus or train. Furthermore, all government funding transport projects pay inflated union wage levels that decrease the amount of money that actually goes into pouring concrete. Spend the money efficiently on roads and most drivers won’t bitch about gas taxes.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    L.A. has horrible, dilapidated freeways…especially compared to Phoenix. I think California needs to contact someone in Arizona for some better ideas. The Phoenix freeway system is quite nice.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Phoenix freeways are relatively new. L.A. has some of the first, i.e., oldest freeways with pavement that should have been replaced 30 years ago. Shutting down a single stretch of interconnected freeway for 4-6 months to replace concrete paving would produce gridlock throughout the city. Even quick fixes have to be planned like the D-Day landing with media advertising and detours announced weeks in advance, and the work done overnight in a single 6-8 hour shift.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Phoenix freeways were all built within the last 2 to 3 decades and being the epicenter of state funding essentially makes them much easier politically to maintain. Never mind the environmental issues that makes freeways break down faster in California along the coast (saltwater, high moisture, far more vehicles per capita) all leads to more maintenance costs. For all of Arizona’s Goldwater-esque love affairs they’re not afraid to tax citizens as necessary to maintain their roadways. But it’s really more to do with weather and little heavy truck traffic that makes a huge difference. Most of the truck traffic goes along I-40, not I-10, because of the ease of avoiding a major city for time. The same stretches of road for 40 are badly beat up compared to 10.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Fuel taxes in AZ: .19/gallon
        Fuel taxes in CA: .42/gallon

        CA has about 39 million people
        AZ has about 7 million people

        Now what was your rationalization for why CA roads suck compared to those in AZ? Something about CA freeways breaking down faster. It’s a bummer CA has no funding for repairing highways. If the state had only come up with a way for funding such a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      Texas and Oklahoma roads are freaking sweet too.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Drivers suffer from the delusion that their fuel taxes are sufficient to pay for infrastructure. If fuel taxes were high enough for that, then they’d whine about the amount of the taxes, while missing that they got what they were wishing for.

    We might make some progress if we would just decouple fuel taxes from specific uses. Place fuel tax revenues into the general fund and pay for roads entirely from the general fund (or keep paying interest on them by selling bonds, as we are apt to do.)

    The first federal gas tax was just a source of revenue to reduce the budget deficit. (You can thank Herbert Hoover for that.) No pretense about trust funds and the rest of that nonsense.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Widening the tax base by decoupling fuel taxes and road funding is critical, but fuel taxes and road funding are only coupled in the minds of the American public.

      It’s true that fuel taxes were diverted to the highway trust fund, but the argument that fuel taxes are supposed to be the sole source of road funding is a canard authored by advocates of higher fuel taxes. Highway Trust Fund was never meant to have such a narrow tax base. Perhaps the self-funding argument wouldn’t have a specious platform on which to stand, if fuel taxes were allocated to the general fund, but reallocating fuel excise tax won’t make the argument more or less specious. If the public doesn’t understand the funding issues at hand, they won’t be more or less susceptible to poor policy arguments after reallocation.

      This is a country where we fund $50,000 hip-replacements for 88 year old grandparents, and we defund roads for their grandchildren. Reallocating fuel taxes would be a good policy prescription if fuel excise were generating a massive surplus, like FICA tax.

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