Largest gas tax increase in state history will raise everyone’s cost of living
By Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham
After failing in the last ten years to prioritize transportation in the ever-growing state budget, the latest solution is the largest gas tax increase in California history – $52 billion over ten years. These taxes and fees will slam commuters and working families. It doesn’t take an economist to figure out they will raise the cost of living across the board.
For our region’s farmers, ranchers, and small businesses, the new plan means higher operating expenses each year, leading to higher prices for consumers. And when the rest of us pump gas into our cars, we’ll be paying seventy percent more in taxes.
Perhaps most unfortunately, it will hit every senior living on fixed incomes – the fastest growing population on the Central Coast. For these folks, every dollar counts. Asking them to pay so much is really a cold way to solve our transportation problems.
Just this past week I heard from a constituent who is a widow and nearly 70 years old. She’s trying to survive on $1,500 a month, and she’s scared that these new costs – expected to cost an average of $250 a year – will keep her bound to her senior living park.
To be sure, our roads and highways need repair, but I believe there are better ways to fund those improvements. California already has the highest gas taxes in the nation on top of the strictest requirements for gas formulas.
Here at home, the problem is compounded by energy costs. Like gas taxes, California already offers some of the highest household energy costs. We need to re-focus our state policies and look to comprehensive solutions that can bring together the community, increase economic activity, defend the environment, and protect our families.