By Tim Hunt
Democrats "gut and amend" tax holiday into tax increaseUploaded: Apr 7, 2022
The danger of revenue overflowing the coffers in Sacramento can be seen in the variety of proposals to give motorists some relief from soaring gasoline prices.
Due to California’s higher taxes and special gas blends, residents here already have paid at least $1 per gallon more than the national average and it’s been even worse since the anti-fossil fuel policies by Biden Administration have transformed the United States from an energy exporter into an importer.
As prices started to soar, can you imagine U.S. officials asking (begging) OPEC (which includes Russia) as well as enemies such as Venezuela to pump more oil to be imported to the U.S. to alleviate the supply situation. It’s as crazy as having Russia play a key role in trying to redo the horrible Iran nuclear deal by bringing the Iranians back to the negotiating table.
In Sacramento, seemingly everyone is floating a solution as the state, thanks to federal pandemic money and strong tax revenues, is awash in funds. Note the federal funds are all borrowed and contribute to the staggering inflation we’re now enduring.
Republicans proposed a simple solution—a six-month holiday on the 50-cent fuel tax. That went nowhere as some groups, notably transportation and construction interests, opposed it because it could slow down maintenance and additional project. Of course, that could have easily been backfilled from the gushing revenues.
The Assembly Transportation Committee finally held a hearing on the bill by Republican Kevin Kiley only to “gut and amend” it and pass the new bill on a party line vote. Instead of the six-month suspension, the new language by Alex Lee, D-San Jose, would impose a new tax on gas suppliers when the gasoline price is “abnormally high” compared to a barrel of crude oil. It fails to add any definition to that term.
The shameful “gut and amend” is legal by Assembly rules and bypasses the normal hearings and scrutiny bills normally face.
The governor wants to send $400 checks to all motorists, including those who drive electric cars who already get a free pass by not paying the fuel taxes. Add in that fully electric cars are significantly heavier because of their batteries than gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. A Tesla Model X (the four-door SUV) has a gross curb weight of 6,768 pounds compared to 5,684 for a fully loaded Ford F-150 pickup.
You might know that 18-wheelers pay extra fees based on the weight of goods they can haul.
Given the philosophical bent of the majority of the Democrats in Sacramento as well as the governor and their embrace of anything green at the expense of any practical considerations, you know what you can expect.
Incidentally, if you can find it, check out Wall Street Journal editorial writer Allysia Finley’s excellent piece that ran Monday, “You’ll miss fossil fuels when they’re gone.” Finley points out just how many other products, besides fuel, have petroleum as their base ingredient.