The argument that fuel taxes have not been increased for over 23 years does not hold water. I respond with “So what?” Taxes collected over the years may have been sufficient to support building and repair of roads, thus not requiring any increases in fuel taxes.
The governor should prove his request that more funds were required by showing the public fuel taxes collected year-to-year for the past 23 years. Also, demonstrate funds that went to new roads, highways and repairs, again on a year-to-year basis. At the end of any fiscal year, the use of unobligated funds should be described or directed. A demonstration of this type will go a long way in helping the public understand, or not, the purpose of the increased fuel taxes.
Many believe there has been “legislative malpractice” allowing highway funds to be allocated to purposes other than intended over the past many years. Increasing taxes should be specifically demonstrated by showing the anticipated inflow of tax funds along with outflows to road/highway projects, not including the cost to maintain Caltrans.
The public understands that new roads and repairs are necessary but are not convinced that new taxes or bonding are required.
John Hendon, Fresno