Why every Californian should vote Yes on Prop 6: Repeal the Gas & Car Tax Increase

 

Do we need to fix our roads? The answer is yes. There is no debate on whether or not we need to fix our roads. Everyone agrees, and independent studies show that California has some of the worst roads in the nation. The question is: do we need to raise taxes to fix our roads?

Hardworking families and everyday Californians struggle to get by in a state that has one of the highest cost of living in the entire nation (approximately 41% higher than the national average). With some of the highest taxes in the country, when is enough, enough?

When Californians are barely making it – figuring out how they are going to pay the rent, buy or repair their vehicles, save for retirement, save for college, or even figure out how to pay for the simple things in life, like a family vacation or a night out on the town – they wonder if the extra $779.28 a year a typical family of four will pay is worth it or needed.

Questions we need to be asking

I believe before any tax increase; we need to ask two simple questions. Do we have enough money? How are we spending that money?

I’m okay with paying more taxes if it is actually needed. But before you come to me and ask for more money, show me you spent our tax dollars wisely and that the only option left is to raise taxes.

Show me you have been a good steward of our money and spent wisely and the only option is a tax increase. Until then no tax increase should occur, and if out-of-touch spend and tax politicians increase our taxes like the car and gas tax, we must rise up and take back our money.

Do we have enough money?

State Senator John Moorlach released an independent analysis of the CalTrans budget showing that only 20% of the gas tax funds were spent anywhere near roads. An independent audit proves very little money actually gets spent on construction. My opponent and current Controller recently said in a debate; we need the tax increase because of years of deferred maintenance.

For those of you that don’t speak government, deferred maintenance means we have been diverting your tax dollars for years and not fixing the roads as we promised so even though we have continually lied to you over the years – trust us this time we are going to use it.

Politicians are not interested in fixing or expanding our roads – and the gas tax increase contains zero accountability on where the funds will be spent. In fact, the gas tax increase bill SB1 was specifically written to allow politicians to continue to divert all the funds away from road projects.

How are we spending that money?

California is so wasteful with our infrastructure funds that we get far less for our funds than other states. The Reason Foundation report shows for every $1 spent in the other 49 states to maintain one mile of highway the California state government spends up to $4.70 for the same mile – that’s a 470% cost inefficiency factor.

Our administrative costs are up to 360% higher.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that we should cut 1/3 of our positions with the California Department of Transportation because we have 3,500 extra full-time employees we don’t need who cost us about half a billion dollars a year.

Fortunately, 54% of the staff at Caltrans are at or near retirement age, so we don’t have to fire anyone. We just put a hiring freeze and let them retire, and we won’t replace them. Thus, saving at least half a billion a year.

Sacramento politicians solution: Put no hiring freeze, continue to hire, give them a 15% pay increase over the next two years and congratulate yourself on screwing over the California taxpayer because it has nothing to do with fixing our roads – its about taking more of your hard earned money and handing it out to their lobbyist friends, special interest groups, corporate and union buddies.

They don’t care about us, its time to fire them and vote Yes on 6

For politicians in Sacramento, $779.28 might be the cost of their brunch with their lobbyist friends and special interest group buddies, but for hardworking Californians like us, $779.28 is not chump change. Sacramento politicians have lost sight of the struggles we face day-in-and-day-out in California.

We work hard and spend hours each day commuting to and from work, away from our families, and then you have the gall, after you recklessly spent and diverted our tax dollars, to ask for more.

Until you respect the taxpayer to spend our money wisely by maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of each dollar you can take back your tax-hike increase. We don’t want it.

We are voting Yes on Prop 6 to repeal your tax hike and will add future safeguards on your ability to raise our taxes because you have betrayed us and don’t care about everyday working families that are struggling just to get by.

You have left us no choice; Yes on Prop 6 is the only way for us, the taxpayer, to protect ourselves from you, our failed political leaders.