Join the California taxpayer revolution – DUMP THE GAS TAX RIP OFF!

17 Jun

Reform California says they’ve collected over a million signatures – that’s more than twice what they needed to qualify the gas tax repeal for the November ballot. Carl Demaio told me they expect the petitions to be ratified and a Proposition number to be assigned by the end of June.

They’re taking orders for signs,  go over to the Reform California site to check that out.

We’ve got four months of ugly campaign ahead, with Governor Moonbeam trash talking the repeal and threatening us with third world quality roads.

That’s ironic, isn’t it? When I was a kid, the Moonbeam’s dad, Old Edmund Brown Sr, went on a tear building and improving roads all up and the state – I saw it all, from the cab of my Daddy’s Peterbilt.

While my dad was employed by Teichert, my mom was office manager for a Dixon CA highway contractor named John Vickery. The highway industry buttered our bread. We weren’t rich, but my mother always owned the house we lived in.

Now the management salaries and pensions eat all the money. The highest paid city employyes sit in meetings all day, telling us there’s no money to employ the folks who fix the roads, no money for asphalt, etc.

Until we threatened a taxpayer revolution the likes of Prop 13 – DUMP THE GAS TAX RIP OFF!

Now you see they’re making a limp wristed effort at fixing Chico streets – with a lousy 4 inch scrape and patch.

About 15 years ago, the city annexed the neighborhood along Palmetto Avenue where we’d just bought a house.  The county had begun major repairs of that street, scraping it down to the base. That’s almost a foot, folks. The end of our driveway was hanging so high it was difficult to get in and out.

The county and city had made a deal – because of the annexation, which meant the city would be taking roughly half the property taxes from the county, the city was to finish the street repairs to Palmetto. The street was left scraped, our driveway left hanging, we and our neighbors left wondering.

And then the elderly woman we shared a driveway with had a stoke. It was just after dark, the ambulance crew couldn’t get over the end of the driveway. They walked in with the stretcher, 160 feet, and carried her out. She died that night.

I called the city the next day. The public works staffer I spoke to expressed shock and surprise – he said he didn’t know the project wasn’t finished.

In case you’re new around here, Palmetto has always been a much traveled artery through our town. This was my first introduction to the clueless ineptitude that passes for “working at the city of Chico.”

But I’ll also say, Palmetto and East Ave, which both had major repaving about that time, are still the best streets in town, and both are very heavily used. The 4 inch scrape the city is doing now is almost as big a joke as the practice of filling potholes with asphalt left over from other jobs.

Today they won’t even apologize. I sat in a meeting with pissed off developers, at which Daddy’s little darling Bill Webb asked how a person could get the city to fix their street. Three public works staffers sitting in the meeting (while streets were going unfixed) told the gathering they had no money to fix anything, in fact, they were removing projects from the to-do list that had been waiting for attention since 2009.

The developers have a legitimate beef – they’ve been paying fees for street improvements, and city staff have allocated the money into their own pockets without doing the work.

How do you fight back? Get your sign and post it in your front yard.



6 Responses to “Join the California taxpayer revolution – DUMP THE GAS TAX RIP OFF!”

  1. Jim June 17, 2018 at 5:43 am #

    The developers aren’t our friends either. They are plundering this town, and expect the taxpayers to pay for it.

    • Juanita Sumner June 17, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

      I agree, although, the developers can make a good argument that they’ve paid fees that haven’t gone toward the improvements they were supposed to pay for. They can also complain that the new fee schedule favors higher density development, allowing high density developers to pay lower fees – which is totally upside down.

      I blame the city. They should just enforce the standard building code, quit coming up with crap like, lower fees for developers who don’t build garages, based on the logic that it will force the buyer/resident to ride a bike.

  2. bob June 17, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

    And let’s not forget it’s not just gas. The corrupt politicians increased the tax on diesel by 20 cents a gallon and in addition, the existing separate 1.75% diesel fuel tax increased to 5.75%. Also, they increased the vehicle registration tax.

    And remember if the repeal effort failures the tax on gas will go up another 7 cents a gallon next year. And all these taxes are now indexed to inflation so the taxes are increased automatically every year.

    Also remember that these tax increases filter through to every product or services that uses these fuels and vehicles either directly or indirectly.

    • Juanita Sumner June 17, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

      Go Bob! We need to start reminding people about this every day. I may steal from your comment in my next letter to the editor.

      • bob June 17, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

        Feel free to take whatever you want.

        One thing I am curious about is if there is any correlation between the tax increases for roads and the condition of the roads. I’ve been in cities and counties that have had sales tax increases for roads but their roads seem to be as bad as Chico.

        So what happened to the money? I think the politicians and bureaucrats always find a way to siphon off the tax increase revenues but even if they don’t I think they use the existing road money for other things (such as pensions and raises) so the net effect of these tax increases result in no or little improvement of the roads.

        If people knew this was the pattern in other places where tax increases have been approved maybe they’d be less likely to vote for future tax increases (like what Ory wants).

  3. bob June 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    The California gas tax and the outrageous tactics to keep it

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