Dueling road plans propose higher taxes, seek to reduce driving

Road workDrivers are likely scratching their heads over conflicting approaches to transportation goals in the state and cities. A coalition of business and labor organizations supported a plan to raise funds for road repair to the tune of $6 billion a year to be shared by the state and local governments. At the same time in Los Angeles, Mobility Plan 2035 is moving forward, designed to replace roads with bike lanes and bus-only lanes to encourage people to drive less.

The puzzle — how to get more money from drivers when you want them out of their cars?

The problem of raising money from diminishing use of a product is becoming endemic in California. Previously, I’ve written that agencies that rely on tobacco tax revenue are scrambling for more money as tobacco use drops off. In the same vein, water agencies are watching their budgets shrink as consumers use less water in response to the drought.

With better mileage per gallon of gasoline for newer cars and the introduction of electric vehicles, gas tax revenue has been reduced.

The conundrum continues if seeking gas and diesel tax increases and maybe even a mileage charge on vehicles goes forward at the same time city and state planners concoct strategies to keep vehicles parked in the garage.

A proposal introduced Monday by the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Roundtable, the California Association of Counties, the League of California Cities, and the California Alliance for Jobs representing construction unions would raise revenue for infrastructure from gas tax and diesel tax increases, boosts in vehicle registration fees as well as cap-and-trade money.

The L.A. proposal is designed to get drivers out of their cars — but opponents of the plan say it will do nothing more than lead to congestion and frustrated drivers. As someone who has seen a nearby street lose a lane to bicycle traffic, I can attest to that concern.

Senate Bill 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, is designed to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging developers to build housing close to public transportation.

Advocates might argue both approaches are needed — more revenue to build and fix roads, fewer cars on the roads to reduce wear and tear on the asphalt.

But duel efforts to raise taxes and limit driving could make for disgruntled drivers and angry voters.

9 comments

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  1. Dude
    Dude 12 August, 2015, 08:20

    “city and state planners concoct strategies to keep vehicles parked in the garage.”

    The government has forgotten that they work for us. What citizens group asked to have their cars phased out? What tiny fringe eco-nutjob group is overriding the majority again?

    Reply this comment
    • Rob Anderson
      Rob Anderson 12 August, 2015, 12:01

      It’s the anti-car bike lobby, which, by the way, also supports the high-speed rail boondoggle. Trains and bikes are somehow morally superior to motor vehicles.

      Reply this comment
  2. Veteran
    Veteran 12 August, 2015, 08:48

    Bike lanes are for an elite group of people. The lanes are mostly empty, and ONLY generally used by healthy, fit people. It’s discrimination against many people. They take legitimate lanes away from vehicles. Want to ride a bike – use the side walk and get off your bike to cross the street.

    Reply this comment
  3. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 12 August, 2015, 14:31

    Reading articles like this reminds me of how much I hate this state. We have become a bankrupt, illegal alien infested, over crowded, over taxed, over regulated, dystopian one party crap hole that gets worse every year. No matter how much of other peoples money they get it’s never enough to satisfy the voracious appetite of the left wing authoritarian creeps who have run this once magical state into the ground.

    Just wait until our boom and bust economy goes over the cliff again (3,2,1…kaboom!). Then things will become truly frightening as the last vestiges of the old fiscally restrained, economically vibrant, politically competitive California are crushed under the jackboots of the Enviro-Nazi utopians who have destroyed what used to be a veritable paradise on earth.

    Prescott, Arizona is looking better and better. I can’t wait to get out of this three ring circus of numbskullery.

    Reply this comment
  4. Colonel Bill Kilgore
    Colonel Bill Kilgore 12 August, 2015, 15:27

    The conundrum continues if seeking gas and diesel tax increases and maybe even a mileage charge on vehicles goes forward …

    Dang, straight!

    Tax’em to the stone age, son!

    Tax’em good and hard, then tax’em again.

    Tax the shiite outta ’em.

    I love the smell of tax increases in the morning.

    Colliefornia’s got the highest gas taxes and they are going higher!

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 12 August, 2015, 21:24

    Summer is perfect for moving. Will throw in a garmant bag from Belarus gratis….

    Pack and Ship

    Reply this comment
  6. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 10 October, 2015, 15:08

    Make the liberal eletists on their fancy $4000 bicycles pay a Hot Air Tax and espeially in Hollywood who are always supporting some stupid enviromental cuase

    Reply this comment

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