2017-04-20 / Letters

No one wants gas tax, but Irwin voted for it

As of 2016, Caltrans had an annual budget of $17 billion. That’s a lot of money. Surely enough money to ensure that the roads and highways of the great state of California are well maintained.

But after much review and deliberation, it was determined there’s a $59-billion backlog in deferred maintenance on state highways and $78 billion on local streets and roads.

So California politicians last month approved a tax increase on gas and car registration that is targeted at collecting an additional $5.2 billion each year for the next 10 years. The bill passed 54 to 26 in the Assembly.

When does this go into effect? Nov. 1. Why November? Politicians will probably say it gives us all time to prepare for the increase.

More than likely the real reason: November is the period when gas prices begin their first decrease after the summer increases.

By implementing it in November, the tax increase will be lost in the gas price decrease and the public won’t be as outraged by the raise in taxes.

As a resident of Assembly District 44, I immediately attempted to contact my rep, Jacqui Irwin. I’ve left her messages on her web page as well as social media without a response—yet her social media pages continue to pat her on the back for passing other unanimous legislation (76-0).

Not only is a gas tax and car registration increase something I’m against, I’ve yet to find one resident in my district who approves of the increase.

If that’s the case, who is Jacqui representing? I see other politicians sold their votes to get a train line in their district (worth $400 million). Just trying to figure out what Jacqui sold out for us—besides her soul.

Hopefully in 2018, come reelection, the members of this district will remember how a local politician sold her constituents out to toe the party line.

Jeff Stolze
Thousand Oaks

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