Joe Matthews recently wrote:

“Because the gas tax is a small tax increase that does very little. Almost everything said by both sides of the debate is an exaggeration.”

A tax yielding over $5 billion every year is not a “small tax increase”.  Apparently a whole lot of California voters don’t think this is a trivial tax increase either.

From the beginning, promoters for passing the tax in the legislature, and now put on the defensive by advocating that Prop 6 must be defeated, have been less than truthful about the benefits that will accrue from spending these funds.

Indeed, what you hear and read most often is “all the pot holes and fixes to our highways that will be funded.”  What is often omitted is that maybe up to 50 percent of the revenue can be used for “transit or other” needs. Indeed the commuter line agencies are lined up already, asking for funding from this new pot of money.  Kept quiet is that High Speed Rail, might be also be after some of these funds.

The chief promoter of this tax in the legislature was Senator Jim Beall, Chair of the State Senate Transportation and Housing committee.  Senator Beall is not a supporter of highway construction, but rather at every instance promotes funding for transit.  He now also sits as an ex-official member the High Speed Rail Authority.

Hopefully in November, the voters will indeed pass Prop 6 and rescind this un-needed additional tax burden.