Drivers being punished for being frugal
When the California Board of Equalization increased the excise tax on a gallon of gasoline by 3.5 cents, it justified the move as necessary because people were driving less due to the high cost of gasoline.
Well, isn’t that the goal of government — to get us to drive less, to use less fuel so we can save the environment. So, in essence, motorists are being punished for what officials have been seeking for years — drive less or at least use less fuel.
Yet, that is exactly the reason the price motorists pay at the pump in California will exceed 70 cents a gallon when the increase goes into effect in July. That is also the reason Californians pay about the most of any state in the nation for gasoline.
The excise tax, also called the fuel tax, is used to pay for highway and mass transit projects. Just raising it 3.5 cents, at approximately 35 million gallons of gas pumped a day in the Golden State, that equates to roughly $44 million extra in gas tax revenue, but $52.5 cents a week more per every 20 gallons of gas a motorist purchases.
We question raising the fuel tax at a time motorists are paying some of the highest gas prices in history. There does not appear to be much of a break at the pump and now the state is piling on.
What puzzles us is how government is raising costs on things it has been telling us for years we should do to help the environment. Several cities are raising water rates, claiming the installation of water meters has led to many homeowners using less water, thus less revenue; or the county of Tulare raising fees at landfills because residents are doing such a good job diverting garbage away from landfills to composting or recycling. Now, the state is penalizing people for using less fuel.
In order for government to be successful in getting motorists to drive less, or recycle their garbage, or use less water, it needs to stop coming back and then charging more in taxes or fees.