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YES ON PROP 6: Californians pay the second highest gas tax in the US, while driving on the fifth worst roads

16 Aug

Here’s the first YES on Prop 6 tv ad. Prop 6 repeals SB 1, the recent legislative increase in our gas tax and car registration fees.

 

Some points I’d like to make:

The ad says the typical family will pay $779.28 more taxes per year under SB 1. That figure does not take into account the effect this increase has on everything that arrives on a truck – from groceries to tooth paste and shampoo to clothes, shoes and school supplies for your kids. Neither does it include the effect this increase will have on services like public utilities, medical, day care, you name it. 

Before SB 1 went into effect last January, California had the ninth highest gas tax in 50 states. Now, according to 24/7 Wall Street (  https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/01/26/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-gas-taxes-6/   ), we have the second highest gas tax in the nation, at 53 cents a gallon.   24/7 Wall Street quotes  the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Report Card For America’s Infrastructure  –  “the percentage of roadway in sub-optimal condition is 28.5% – the fifth highest in the nation.” In other words, we pay the second highest gas  tax but have the fifth worst roads in the entire United States.   

Think people, read that again – the threats Jerry Brown and his fellow pensioners are making about roads going unrepaired mean nothing.   We’ve already suffered some of the worst roads in the nation while paying some of the highest taxes, how much worse can it get? 

Here’s where the money has gone, and will continue to go, like kipple into a black hole – California now has over $1 TRILLION in unfunded pension liabilities. They know we won’t pay them outright, so they try everything under the sun to trick us into raising taxes for funds that can be pilfered later through allocation. Promises haven’t worked, so now Brown is threatening. Look at the visuals – I’m hearing, “Pay or Die”. 

The ads Brown is running are paid for with public money, including conscripted union dues from agencies like California Highway Patrol. They’re breaking the law, using taxpayer money to run ads for a tax increase campaign, that’s desperate. 

Write letters, tell your friends, it’s YES ON PROP 6. 

 

 

 

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Is City of Chico using taxpayer funds to promote gas tax?

28 Jul

Where have I been? Writing a letter to the editor about the gas tax repeal, Proposition 6.

Supporters of Prop 6, the gas and registration tax repeal,  charge the State of California with improper use of taxpayer  funds to fight the  measure. Signs costing as much as $1000 each are posted at road work sites, touting funding from the gas tax – SB  1.

Under California Government code, officials cannot spend taxpayer money  “..to support or oppose the approval or rejection of a ballot measure”. Yet, on the taxpayer funded city of Chico website, the Annual Road and Rehab report proclaims, “Rehabilitation of Cohasset Road is the City’s first major roadway maintenance project funded with State allocated Senate Bill 1 (SB1)…The community’s gas tax and franchise fee dollars are at work to fix Chico’s local streets and roads.”

The job will also take funds from the garbage tax.

Over $1.5 million for a scrape and patch of one road. How does the street in front of your house look?

The city of Chico is using tax dollars that should go into fixing our neighborhood streets to promote more taxes – using your money to stick you for more.  Are you happy paying more to register and gas your car while driving over potholes that void the warranty on your tires?

Are you happy that while your street goes unmaintained, city management continues to receive salaries in excess of $200,000/year, while paying less than 10 percent of their pension?

Vote yes on Prop 6, repeal SB 1, the gas tax.

The Reform California people and their lawyers have called out the state on improper and illegal use of funds, and that effort is a strain on their  funding. Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown, using his influence as a public official,  has raised over $15 million for ads against Prop 6. If you have a few bucks to spare you can help Reform California with a contribution.  I can’t give you the link because of WordPress rules, but you can find it at the Reform California website. 

Better yet, write your own letter to the editor. How much has the gas tax added to your cost of living – not just gas and registration for your car, but groceries, all your retail items, including the shipping charges for your online purchases. Look over your bills – your utilities have gone up too. The squeeze in on, and it’s all about the CalPERS deficit. 

Like Ralph Nader said, turn on to politics, before politics turn on you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Walters: state budget full of transportation “boondoggles” – here’s a local example

13 Jul

Here is yesterday’s column from Dan Walters, describing a state transportation agency that has millions in budget but provides NO benefits to taxpayers.

https://calmatters.org/articles/commentary/legislature-may-erase-embarrassing-boondoggle/

A few months ago I wrote a post about the rail agency he mentions, which is working with the local agency, BCAG (Butte County Association of governments) to land grant funding.

https://chicotaxpayers.com/2018/01/23/bcag-proposes-spending-millions-for-bus-lines-that-are-predicted-to-have-a-40-percent-return-on-fares-how-about-fixing-our-streets/

This is an example of what really happens with SB1 funds. Repeal SB1, repeal the gas tax, repeal the misuse of our tax dollars.

YES ON PROP 6.

Gas tax repeal makes the ballot – now the real work begins!

2 May

I  got a note yesterday from the gas tax repeal campaign staff.

“Yesterday was outstanding as we turned in nearly 1 million signatures to force the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative on the November 2018 ballot! “

Of course, Governor Brown is not pleased – have you ever noticed, how Trump-like he gets at times with the potty mouth? Last year, annoyed by not one but two attempts at repeal, The Moonbeam made this comment.

“The freeloaders—I’ve had enough of them,” Brown announced in Orange County earlier this month. “Roads require money to fix.” Without an increase in the gas tax, he argued, Californians might have to drive on gravel.”

Oh my god – freeloader? Would he say that to my face?  I know the truth.

From reason.com, “Brown’s state already has the seventh highest gas taxes in the nation, and that money pays for much more than road repair. About $100 million of gas tax revenue—2 percent of the total—is diverted straight into the general fund every year, and another 7 percent goes to public transit.”

If you don’t believe in Agenda 21, ask yourself – why should people who drive cars pay for public transit? Millions of dollars a year goes into public transit in California – how about the BART train that just broke on it’s first day? – and public transit is still unusable for most Californians? Because most of the money goes into bureaucrats’ back pockets. 

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/BART-s-brand-new-cars-take-another-trip-to-the-12549936.php

Read that – when Chronicle Staff asked what kind of problems the trains were having, BART staff said, “You have our response…” Don’t you love that Caleeforneeya Sunshine!

Here’s what that woman gets paid to treat the public like garbage:

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/PositionDetail.aspx?employeeid=18046298

And here’s what you see when you use public transportation in California (this is from a UK new service but I found other related stories in US press sources):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5665041/Shocking-footage-shows-junkies-taking-San-Francisco-BART-station.html

In Chico, like everywhere else, gas tax funds are diverted to pay salaries and pension premiums for people who never even get their hands dirty. Using the process of “cost allocation,” the gas tax is spread out and divvied up, used to pay a staffer just for putting a signature on a report – meet Mark Orme, City Mangler – that’s how he gets paid. He does nothing toward fixing your roads, he spends his days in meetings wearing fresh white shirts. But every time he signs a staff report, he gets money out of the gas tax and other road funds.  As our gas tax is “allocated” into his pension, we drive on gravel. 

This gas tax allows for much of the money to be given to cities to spend at their discretion. Right now, instead of fixing roads for us to drive our heavily taxed cars on, the city is going on a bike land bender. These projects – like the “experimental” bike lanes recently painted on Downtown streets – cost a fraction of the grant, the rest goes into Gustafson and Ottoboni and Orme’s back pockets. 

So, we will have to get busy working to get the initiative passed. Of course the repeal folks need and are asking for money – I don’t have much to give, I don’t think you do either. What can you do? Tell friends, and write letters to the editors of the local papers. 

 We need to keep this repeal effort in people’s minds all the way to November. Start writing letters about how this gas tax has and will effect you. I’ve noticed the prices at the grocery store have already gone up – list items you buy regularly and how much they’ve gone up. Talk about what you’ve had to cut back on to get to work – it’s getting hard to find things to cut back on, isn’t it? Talk about your most recent car registration – how much did they gouge you for? Talk about the streets around your house and the roads you take to work – have they gotten better, or worse, as state and local taxes have gotten higher and higher?

Write now, because about two months ahead of the election, David Little will announce he is limiting us to one political letter, and I mean, that’s it. Save your piece d’resistance for after he makes that announcement. Write regularly, try to sink one every month or so. Talk about a different aspect of how this tax has affected you personally. Talk to your friends, get some more ammo from them.

And come here to chatter it up, then put a link to the blog in your letters – that’s chicotaxpayers.com

And, if you can afford to chuck a few bucks at the repeal folks, I’m sure they will put it to better use than the gas tax. Here’s that link with my regards:

 

Can you to help with a contribution for the campaign TODAY to pass the Gas Tax Repeal? Here’s the secure link

 

I may have to apologize to local GOP – but probably not

22 Mar

Well, whattya know! There are signature gatherers at Safeway on Mangrove, and they are carrying the gas tax petition – along with a pile of other petitions I had no interest in signing.

I’ve walked past these people a couple of times, but because they have a big sign up for another petition I had no interest in hearing about,  I just ignored them. It looks like that’s all their collecting signatures for. They aren’t very professional either. I’ve met professionals before – these gals were hired out of the EDD, just to make a few bucks. I’d prefer to get somebody who knows something about the process, when we finally talked to the gals at Safeway they were clueless – one of them had her toddler in tow.

But who paid them? That’s my next question. When I contacted Jim Nielsen’s office, I got a call back from a really snotty guy who didn’t identify himself, referred to Carl Demaio as “somebody from San Diego” and said I’d been given “misinformation.”  He assured me that Nielsen was supporting this effort “with his personal resources” – but he didn’t say a word about the signature gatherers at Safeway, so I’m going to assume he knows nothing about them and they were paid for by Demaio and the folks at Reform California.

“somebody from San Diego”? That’s the kind of smack talk that’s going on within the Republican party, that’s why they can’t get anything done.

I also got a call from Larry Wahl, who said he’d seen signature gatherers at Safeway too – but he sure seemed surprised. I e-mailed him back and asked him who paid for them.  He also referred my e-mail to some guy at the Butte County GOP – Saulo Londono. Londono also runs Nielsen’s office, so I’m guessing he’s the mystery man who called me in response to my e-mail to Nielsen.  Great! Nice people running the GOP these days!

So, you know, I can admit it when I’m wrong – if the local GOP has paid for those local signature gatherers, well, my apologies. But I don’t think they did. I don’t think they even knew they were there until they went out for groceries.  We’ll see if I get any answers out of this Londono guy. 

 

Our local GOP are not working hard enough to overturn the gas tax – just posturing for re-election?

21 Mar

I’ve been trying to follow the progress of the Reform California gas tax repeal petition. I’ve received updates from Carl Demaio’s office – they are asking for donations to pay signature gatherers to continue collecting signatures until their new deadline of April 23. The additional signatures are needed because Governor Brown has demanded a full count of the petition – this could delay the filing and they’d miss the November election.  If they submit 10 percent MORE than LEGALLY REQUIRED, they are confident they can qualify in 30 days with a random sample. 

I know, there’s a screwing around every corner of government business, but rules are rules.

I don’t have money to donate, but I’d like to encourage you to print out another sheet and try to get a couple more signatures yourself, send them in. 

http://www.reformcalifornia.org/

I am usually leery of big campaigns, I wasn’t eager to download something from a website and send it in the mail.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe local GOP are sincere in their support of this effort. When I heard about their rallies at Sinclair’s gas station in Chico, I tried to contact Senator Jim Nielsen and Congressman Doug Lamalfa about opportunities to sign locally, but received no response from either. So, in early February, I e-mailed the Reform California campaign to ask if any of our local GOP were collecting signatures. Demaio himself answered me back:

“We don’t have any locations in Butte County to sign, we tried reaching out to the Butte County GOP but they never returned our requests.”

I e-mailed Nielsen, Lamalfa and Butte County Dist. 2 supervisor Larry Wahl – all of whom showed up at Sinclair’s – telling them what Demaio said, and asking if it’s true. I told Nielsen and Lamalfa I won’t vote for them if they don’t do more to help with the petition. I’m not in Wahl’s district, but I told him I’d like to have something to run with in supporting him – I’d rather have Satan himself than Wahl’s opponent, the salary seeking Debra Lucero. 

So, print out some petitions, try to get your registered voting friends to sign – and remember, if they are from different counties they need to fill out separate petitions. And, take a minute to write/call  these three posturing ninnies, tell them they need to get their asses out there and get more signatures.

Doug Lamalfa    https://lamalfa.house.gov/contact/email-me

Jim Nielsen   http://nielsen.cssrc.us/content/my-offices

Larry Wahl     LWahl@ButteCounty.net