Faced with a massive failure on the state’s part to pay out pensions to public servants, California Governor Jerry Brown has opted to do what Democrats do best: raise taxes. The targets this time are gas and vehicle registration, which are expected to go up by 42% and 141% respectively. After 9 years of taxes going up by 50% in the state, it is obvious that this will do nothing but irritate Californians even further as they are penalized for Sacremento’s inability to get its act together:
“Democrat governors have been regularly spiking gas taxes and vehicle registration fees for decades. But 12 years ago, Democrat Gov. Gray Davis was recalled by voters after he pushed the state legislature to pass a vehicle registration fee increase from $46 to $158.
The legislature cancelled the increase and Democrats have avoided gas and vehicle increases since. When the Assembly tried to revive a gasoline tax last year, the issue was dropped after polls showed 63 percent voter opposed any increase.
Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger destroyed his popularity by pushing through the Proposition 1-A high-speed rail initiative in 2008 that added about 11 cents a gallon to the price of gasoline — for a project now referred to by Bloomberg News as a “fiasco.”
Gov. Brown’s willingness to try raising gasoline taxes by 17 cents a gallon, and on vehicle registration fees by $65, is a sign of the insolvency risk from the exploding cost of California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) public pensions. Brown’s draft 2017-2018 budget already includes a $524 million increase for the public pension contribution. That amounts to an 11 percent increase over this year’s $5.3 billion cost.”
Photo: Steve Rhodes