SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) issued the following statement after Governor Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats announced a plan to enact $5 billion per year in new gas taxes and fees on California drivers:
“In 2002, Californians clearly told politicians through Proposition 42 that they wanted gas taxes to be used for transportation purposes only. Over the years, through legislative maneuver after legislative maneuver, these funds were stolen and diverted elsewhere, and now Democrat leaders are asking drivers for more of our money.
“Gas taxes in California are already among the nation’s highest, yet our roads are in some of the worst shape. Drivers have every right to conclude that simply throwing additional taxes at the problem will not improve our highways.
“The ripple effect of these tax increases will be felt throughout the economy. As the cost of shipping goods goes up, so will the cost of living here. Families will see prices rise on everyday essentials from groceries to school supplies. Our state is already unaffordable for too many Californians. New taxes will only make the situation worse.
“Ronald Reagan once characterized government’s view of the economy this way: ‘If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.’ With tax increases as their go-to solution for everything, Democrat leaders continue to prove his words true.”
Polls conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California and the Institute for Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley have shown that Californians consistently oppose the idea of higher gas taxes and vehicle fees.
During the 2015/16 legislative session, Senate Republicans proposed a plan that would have made critical reforms and used existing funds to pay for roads and highways, if legislative Democrats had prioritized transportation in the budget and turned their attention to infrastructure rather than expanding the welfare rolls (California has 34 percent of the nation’s welfare caseload), funding sanctuary cities, and focusing on high-speed rail.
Senator Morrell opposed a previous version of the gas taxes included under Senate Bill 1 (Beall, D-San Jose) at a February 2017 hearing of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing.