The column by Darius Assemi (Aug. 14) about the breakdown in infrastructure (road) repair funding in California was well written. Keep the Legislature’s hands off the road repair funds and streamline Caltrans so it functions better. Both are good ideas.
The challenge is what to do about the funding of infrastructure repairs. Assemi suggests that charging by the mile will solve the problem. Even replace the fuel tax with a mileage tax. What that will do is add another level of bureaucracy or private contractors to the cost of infrastructure repair. Everyone will have to report their mileage and these contractors will have to verify it.
Imagine if one is late in paying this extra tax. The exorbitant penalties added to DMV charges would be applied.
A simpler and more practical approach would be to raise the fuel tax 5-to-10 cents per gallon. Then index the tax to inflation and charge electric vehicles a yearly road repair charge on their vehicle license fee. No intrusive behavior, no private contractors draining funds from infrastructure repair, no chances for cronyism.
We all know that we have to repair our infrastructure. Let’s be smart about it.
Mike Enos, Fresno