Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CA Prop 1A - Transportation Funding Protection

Proposition 1A on the California ballot puts into the state constitution that a) the sales taxes levied on gasoline must used for transportation and not dropped into the General Fund; and that b) if the state does have to "borrow" that money, it must be returned to the transportation fund within three years.
Presently these measures exist in state law, except that the state law doesn't specify when, if ever, transportation funds must be replaced.
My objection to the status quo is simple: levying extraordinary taxes on gasoline to pay for state transportation expenses and then routinely keeping that money in the general fund is dishonest. It also results in a woefully inadequate transportation infrastructure, but the bigger issue is the accepted practice of robbing Peter to pay Paul instead of dealing with budget issues in a straightforward manner.
Anyone who remembers... if anyone remembers... Schwarzenegger's second year as governor when all of the money he "borrowed" in his first year couldn't be repaid should know what I'm talking about here. In fact, one hardly needs to look further than Propositon 1B for a $19.9 Billion bond issue for state and local transportation improvement projects.
California voters accepted higher gasoline taxes to fund transportation. What is the question?

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