High diesel taxes hurt everyone

When the new 12 cent per gallon gas tax increase went into effect Nov. 1, hardworking Californians took an immediate hit. The tax on diesel fuel also increased by 20 cents a gallon, but we have seen that increase spike to 30 cents at the pump. Vehicle registration fees are also going up by $25 to $175 after Jan. 1, based on the value of the vehicle.

Consumers will pay more for groceries and goods and more to have their Christmas gifts shipped to family due to fuel surcharges, higher shipping costs and manufacturing of goods that rely on diesel-powered engines.

Small businesses, like my screen printing business, are affected since they operate diesel trucks to ship their products and not only the cost of fueling them goes up, but the cost of the raw goods brought in for manufacturing goes up as well. Wholesale apparel, inks, cleansers, supplies that go into the manufacturing will all go up. Those costs will be passed on to consumers.

The district’s major economic engine is agriculture. According to Diesel Technology Forum, diesel engines power over 90 percent of vehicles transporting farm products to railroads, warehouses and ultimately to market in the United States. Earlier this year, a broad coalition of two dozen California farm groups, including Western Growers Association, California Cattleman’s Association and the California Farm Bureau worked together to oppose the increase in gasoline and diesel taxes. I voted “no” to the tax increase.

The gas taxes we have already paid are continuing to be diverted to the state general fund. There is no assurance the new revenue will not be diverted. In fact, no new lanes for congestion relief will be built with the new taxes. One-third of the money goes to parks, and some goes to high speed rail.

These tax increases can be stopped by the voters. Visit www.stopthecartax.org to download a petition to repeal the gas tax increase and amend the Constitution so that future increases must be approved by the voters.

California’s hardworking taxpayers should have the last word on the gas tax.

Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

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