Gov. Brown, Legislature seek road funds

roads, wolverton, cagle, March 31, 2014No question California’s roads are close to those in Iraq. The only makes car repair shops happy.

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature now are looking at taxing cars by the mile, instead of at the pump. Reported KPCC:

California lawmakers are looking at new ways to pay for crumbling roads, bridges and highways as the traditional repair fund from gasoline taxes dries up.

Revenue from gasoline taxes have been sliding as more fuel-efficient and electric cars hit aging roads. That’s contributing to an annual $5.9 billion backlog in state highway repairs.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is studying whether to tax drivers by miles traveled instead of gas guzzled. Changing the system could take more than five years, and lawmakers are calling for more money to repave roads and fill potholes in the meantime.

A big problem with the proposal is a tax on miles would both invade privacy and encourage cheating on odometers.

Part of the problem, too, is that the state government for decades now has siphoned off funds from highways to the general fund. Both federal and state governments insist on the vast waste known as high-occupancy-vehicle lanes — diamond lanes. And efforts to privatize expressways are resisted.

Then there’s SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. It was sponsored by then-state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, and signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It encourages mass transit — not roads — and jamming people into high-rises. So it actually is state policy to discourage driving.

Do we need any other reasons why the roads are falling apart?

Tags assigned to this article:
Arnold SchwarzeneggerJerry BrownJohn Seiler

John Seiler

John Seiler

John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles,, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email: [email protected]

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