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California politicians plan to divert new gas tax monies into non-transportation projects

California politicians plan to divert new gas tax monies into non-transportation projects

Assemblyman Vince Fong lets voters “follow the money”

I have been following the aftermath of the California legislature’s massive gas tax hike, which is slated to be implemented in January.

The Democratic Party supermajority swore up-and-down that the new funds would totally go to road repair and the essential infrastructure maintenance that this state desperately needs. The skeptical among us, recognizing that the state is facing an epic pension fund shortfall, suspected that the politicians were offering #AlternativeFacts.

One Republican Assemblyman, Vince Fong, is shine some light on the dark heart of Sacramento’s budget-making process. He warns that using legislative “shell game” tricks, up to 30% of those gas tax monies may be diverted into other projects and for other purposes.

Assemblyman Vince Fong said Brown is breaking his promise that revenue from the 12-cent-a-gallon hike would be constitutionally protected and used only to repair and improve California roads, bridges and highway infrastructure.

“It was promised at that time that all those funds would go towards transportation,” Fong said.

He said now that they are going through the budget process, “I’m seeing more and more, close to 30 percent of those hard earned gas dollars being diverted to no transportation items, and it’s not right.”

Fong is the representative in California Assembly District 34, which includes Bakersfield and the surrounding area. This part of California has been under-served by Sacramento, and he is offering the citizens in his district a chance to quite literally “follow the money”.

To confirm Fong’s report, look no farther that this article from the Sacramento Bee that describes how the Assembly offered 800 bills in just 2 days! Some of these bills are astonishing for their scope and potential cost.

…Friday marks the deadline for fiscal committees to report bills to the floor in their house of origin. Collectively, the Senate and Assembly appropriation committees have more than 800 bills to go through before lawmakers can duck out of Sacramento for the long weekend. In other words, expect rapid-fire votes.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Sen. Ricardo Lara, is taking up its suspense file at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The 287 bills on Lara’s desk include several of his own proposals, most notably SB 562, his $400 billion single-payer health care plan, and SB 30, which bars the state from contracting with a company that helps build President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León’s SB 100, which calls for 100 percent renewable retail electricity by 2046, and two affordable housing proposals, Sen. Toni Atkins’ SB 2 and Sen. Jim Beall’s SB 3, will be taken up Thursday. Two Atkins bills related to official gender changes, SB 179 and SB 310, are also on the agenda.

Fong’s video is part of the effort to make the California budget process more transparent, and more sensitive to fiscal realities.

Californians should be able to see how the Legislature prioritizes state dollars and where specifically their tax dollars go. Sacramento needs to be held accountable for policies that continue to increase California’s cost of living based on the false argument that raising taxes and fees are the only way to fund the state’s needs. We will continue to fight for real budget transparency so that we stop the business-as-usual culture that is making our state unaffordable for everyday Californians.

Those of you who wish to follow California’s descent into a new, 10th circle of hell should plan to follow Fong’s Twitter account for more reports. If you’re not Californian, grab some popcorn. If you are Californian, grab lots of Kleenex.

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Comments

It certainly wasn’t difficult to forsee this happening. They keep electing the same leftist slugs, and keep getting the same leftist crap!

    I completely guarantee with 100% certainty that this is happening where you live too. That is they way government operates everywhere. That’s why small government is preferable. Politicians = liars. Book it.

nordic_prince | May 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Just want to say I like the picture of the cat & the money….

casualobserver | May 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Not being Californian, I’m planning on filling my pantry with popcorn kernels in preparation for the single payer saga alone. $400 billion……bwahahaha.

Ssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhocking.

NEVER FORGET (esp. when voting) “Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” PJ O’Rourke

Jim Nabors, as Gomer Pyle would say “surprise surprise surprise.”

It wouldn’t matter even if 100% of the money was going to road projects, since money is fungible. General fund money that currently goes to road projects can be withdrawn without, technically, breaking their promise to spend the new tax money on roads. It’s a common game California plays. Voters shouldn’t have believed it anyway, since it’s obvious California’s legislature is dominated by auto-hating (for the common person, not for themselves) progressives, for whom crumbling roads and widespread gridlock are a feature, not a bug.

Wait, how is the state budget not public?

Of course they will divert the gas tax moneys to social projects. It’s what progs do.

In Europe a gallon of gas costs $5-6, so my impression is that at $3.30, California believes it has plenty of room to raise prices unfortunately. The official line about prices is that they are high because the refining process is designed to improve air quality, but I think it’s going to be even harder to sell that once the higher gas taxes kick in.

The other question is will the government actually get that money or will people just pay more for hybrids or electrics. The people who pay the most in gas taxes – i.e. luxury car and professional drivers (Uber, Postmates, etc) – are also the most likely to switch to a hybrid / electric.

It’s the same old same old. Raise taxes on the same arguments over and over again and redirect the money into crony pet projects. How many times do we have to fall for calls for more money citing crowded classrooms? The money always ends up in administration, lawsuit settlements and large ticket corrupt boondoggles like the LAUSD Pearson Apple laptops scandal. How many times can they come to taxpayers with the potholes, sidewalks and traffic congestion scams?

In government, there is no accounting mechanism for reporting on whether money is being spent as promised. In private industry, you have the matching principle where all expenses are matched with their related revenues. In government, it takes an expensive study taking years to accomplish what basic accounting would do more cheaply than the current bogus accounting systems.

In government, budgets and appropriations are completely separate. Any resemblance is purely coincidental. Fraud is designed into the system.

They figure when it all crashes, they will just get a Federal Bail-out.
Trouble is… they might.

California needs a 30% VAT tax on everything, including food.

    C. Lashown in reply to C. Lashown. | May 27, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    They also need a TALL 30 foot wall around the entire state, so that people don’t try to get out and only the ‘acceptable type’ of persons can come into the state.

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