(Victor Valley))-As your elected member of the California State Board of Equalization, I am fighting to ensure your voice is heard in Sacramento. As always, I welcome your ideas about how we can work together to solve the pressing problems facing our state.
High Gas Prices: What Do You Think?
California gas prices, which have been climbing for months, have now surpassed the $4 per gallon mark. Despite overall declines in consumption, California consumers are now paying record prices for fuel, and many fear those prices could climb higher still.
Experts cite many factors behind rising fuel prices, including economic growth at home and abroad and growing tensions in the Middle East.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment to complete the following survey:
- Why have fuel prices risen so much?
- Why are California’s fuel prices among the highest in the nation?
My View: Time to Cap Rising Fuel Taxes
It certainly won’t make the experience any less painful, but next time you fill up your gas tank, try figuring out how much you just paid in taxes. You’ll soon discover that rising fuel prices are a whole lot better for the government than for you.
California consumers pay the highest prices for fuel anywhere in the continental U.S. These prices include hidden taxes that help drive up fuel prices. Each and every time fuel prices rise, our taxes go up, too.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, California’s gasoline taxes and fees, averaging 67 cents per gallon, are tied with Connecticut’s as the second-highest in the nation. California’s diesel taxes are the highest in the nation, averaging 75.9 cents per gallon.
Included in the price you pay for fuel are a federal excise tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, a state excise tax of 35.7 cents per gallon and a sales tax of 2.25 percent, plus applicable local taxes. Notably, the sales tax is calculated on the total price of the fuel sale including excise taxes — California consumers pay a tax on a tax.
Californians Are Paying More Tax for Less Gas
The poor conditions of our roads suggest otherwise, but government fuel tax revenues have actually grown significantly in recent years, despite an overall decline in consumption. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, dedicated transportation revenues have grown 89 percent from $3.5 billion in 1999-00 to an estimated $6.7 billion in 2011-12. And that’s not including federal stimulus dollars.
Clearly our road problems are a result of wasteful spending and poor policy choices, not a lack of funding.