Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Reader views on Prop 6, the gas tax repeal

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, left, and organizer Carl DeMaio, center, led a petition drive backed by conservatives to repeal California’s gas taxes and vehicle registration fees in 2018. Gas tax opponents complained to the state’ s Fair Political Practices Commission that public funds had been used to support the gas tax. The repeal effort failed.
Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, left, and organizer Carl DeMaio, center, led a petition drive backed by conservatives to repeal California’s gas taxes and vehicle registration fees in 2018. Gas tax opponents complained to the state’ s Fair Political Practices Commission that public funds had been used to support the gas tax. The repeal effort failed. AP

Repealing gas tax is ‘pound foolish’

Are California roads and highways in gross disrepair? Yes. Should California legislators devise ways of assuring greater fiscal responsibility in managing areas of our government unrelated to our roadways? Yes, just as legislators in every state of the union should be able to do.

Can we afford to wait for such increased fiscal responsibility in all areas of government to be implemented while our roadways deteriorate even further? No. Action must be taken now!

None of us relishes paying taxes, but we all enjoy being on the receiving end of the services such taxes provide, such as fire protection, law enforcement, public education, health care, etc.

At the rate of 12 cents per gallon, we will only be paying $2.40 extra for every 20 gallons we purchase.

Repealing the gas tax would be “penny wise and pound foolish.”

Our pain will only be exacerbated by the estimated $1,419 per year depleted from our personal and family budgets to pay for automobile maintenance and repairs. Additionally, the smoother the pavement, the better our gas mileage.

Please vote no on Proposition 6, while continuing to demand fiscal responsibility from our legislators to ensure more of our tax dollars are spent as intended.

Dominick and Cheryl Lacovara, Los Osos

We need road repairs now. Vote no on Prop 6

Maybe you feel that Californians pay too much in taxes. Maybe we wouldn’t be in this fix if the politicians in Sacramento hadn’t raided funds set aside to pay for road repairs. Maybe you would rather the money come from some other part of the budget.

But here’s the thing: These road repairs and improvements are needed now. Vitally needed projects that have already been scheduled will have to be put on hold indefinitely if the law funding them is repealed. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not have to risk life and limb at the Cholame “Y” or Wellsona Road any longer than I have to. Please join me in voting against the repeal. No on 6.

Bruce T. Bevans, Atascadero

Vote yes on Prop 6

For years, motorists driving in California paid gas and vehicle registration taxes/fees for road/highway construction and repairs. One significant problem persisting over this time was our state representatives had diverted much of those public funds for other uses. As a result and as advertised, our roads and highways have fallen into disrepair.

Those who support the recent gas and vehicle registration tax/fee increases are touting that construction and repairs will now be addressed. If road conditions are so critical, why have electric car owners received a “free ride” (until 2020) from increases in vehicle registration fees? Where is the discussion regarding the Legislature’s accountability for where and why prior fuel taxes and fees motorists paid were routinely redirected to other uses?

I have participated in a “miles driven” state pilot program that was a better and more equitable means for addressing construction and repairs of our infrastructure.

Heading down the current road, I’m sure the legislators are not done with me ... businesses and citizens are being taxed to death (and will probably be afterwards too!). I’m voting yes on Proposition 6.

Paul Provence, Arroyo Grande

Tired of being ‘taken for a ride’

I totally agree with Andrea Seastrand’s column, “Join taxpayer advocates in voting yes on Proposition 6” in Sept. 16 Tribune.

There is no doubt that California’s roads are in bad condition, but it is not from a lack of money. Our legislators have, for years, used the funds designated for highway maintenance for other pet projects in their districts. All politicians like to point to new highways that they were able to get built in their district, but have you ever one brag that road conditions in their district are better than other areas?

Politicians have one ready solution to any problem (even though they may be the cause) and that is to throw more money at it. They should, instead, try to find sensible solutions. If our roads are deteriorating from heavy traffic, change construction specifications for new roads. Improve inspections of construction materials, methods, manpower, etc. If highways in states like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana, which have huge temperature variations, can be built and maintained in better shape than ours, at a much lower cost, then we taxpayers should demand a complete overview of our State Department of Transportation.

We are tired of being “taken for a ride” by incompetent government personnel.

Stanley D. Schaffer, Arroyo Grande

Send a message to Sac; vote no on Prop 6

Andrea Seastrand is absolutely correct when reminding us that “government is supposed to be for the people and by the people and not for itself.”

It is surprising to me when our government places the burden of a tax on its citizens without the approval of the people required to pay for it. Always they claim it is to our advantage, and we should be happy to accept the added financial burden because of the amazing benefits to our community city and state.

Taxpayers wonder where the past millions of dollars designated for improvements to our infrastructure have gone. It is obvious that our lawmakers have taken the funds intended for a specific purpose and diverted them to their preferred pet projects. We pay the highest taxes in the country, and yet we drive on roads that are in the worst possible condition. The strong message that Proposition 6 sends to Sacramento will hopefully tell lawmakers that their mishandling of our tax dollars must stop.

Nancy Sands, Morro Bay

Tax on fuel is worth it

I recently returned from a trip, mostly in Austria, and would like to share a few impressions.

▪ In Austria there are few utility lines to mar the beautiful mountain landscapes; all but a few high-tension wires are underground, virtually eliminating the problems of power outages and electrical fires. An aggressive program of undergrounding could substantially reduce those those problems here.

▪ Austrian roads are much better than here. There, the tax on fuel is roughly 50 percent of an average per gallon cost of approximately $5.40. Here, where proponents of Proposition 6 want to repeal the recent increase in the fuel tax that is already improving our roads, the tax is roughly 15 percent. Surely, we can afford such a minimum tax on fuel to restore our roads to their once excellent condition.

▪ Every place we stayed, whether country inn or large hotel, the toilets had a large and a small button to control the size of the flush and this in an area where water shortage is not the major concern that it is here. The water-saving toilets we experienced in Austria could be introduced at relatively little cost.

Max Riedlsperger, San Luis Obispo

Again, the Dems tout taxes

As usual, the progressive Democrats such as Tom Fulks (“Make SLO County awesome again; reject Proposition 6”) always tout more taxation upon the taxpayers of California. Fulks and friends never saw a tax they didn't like!

Thank goodness for Proposition 13, and now for the opportunity for voters to support yes on Proposition 6, the ballot measure to repeal the regressive gas and car vehicle registration tax heaped upon us by Gov. Brown and his Democratic legislators last year.

Interesting to note that the California state auditor just recently reported the state could save millions of dollars annually on transportation projects by improving Caltrans oversight and risk-management practices. Case in point is the replacement section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge due to its collapse because of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The audit found the projected costs of completing the retrofitting project went from an initial estimate of $2.6 billion to $8.7 billion ... a $6.1 billion increase!

Additional mandated oversight and risk management of projects by Caltrans is needed, and not addition taxes. But to Fulks and his progressive Democrats, a tax is always their easiest solution!

Terri Stricklin, Nipomo

We need the gas tax, Andrea Seastrand

Andrea Seastrand’s Sunday op-ed always ruins my breakfast.

She speaks for the old, white businessman and his money and never for the community.

Andrea, our roads are a mess. Our Mother Earth is boiling. A gas tax would benefit us all by repairing our crumbling roads, improving mass transit and reducing traffic congestion. Readily available public transportation and more bike lanes are the reality of California’s future and hopefully, for all of America. Andrea, we are in this together. Please, get your antediluvian podium out of our way. It is a danger and a nuisance.

Dian Sousa, Los Osos