CA Propositions 1A and 1B

Proposition 1A, another constitutional amendment, would require that sales tax on gasoline and other fuels go to transportation needs. Proposition 1B is another bond issue—“improvements in every corner of the state without raising taxes.” Italics in the ballot measure summary. Typical bond measure in California, projects are chosen partly for geography and we are told that we can get bonds today without taxes tomorrow. This one advocates spending $39 million over 30 years, $19 billion interest on a principal of $20 billion.

According to the Official Voter Information Guide, the state 18 cent/gallon tax on gasoline and diesel generates $3.4 billion annually, and sales tax on fuels brings in another $2 billion per year. There are also weight fees on commercial vehicles. Since 1990, $5 billion in general obligation bonds have helped fund transportation.

There is another path. Not only could drivers fund all transportation costs without resorting to state bonds, but higher fuel taxes could displace inevitable increases in general taxes. Some believe all sales tax should go the general fund – what makes sales tax on fuels so special that it should be spent in just one way?

Am I wrong? Do you have another take?

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