Opinion: Working Californians Need Your ‘Yes’ Vote on Proposition 6

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Carl DeMaio with Proposition 6 supporters. Image from DeMaio’s Twitter feed

By Carl DeMaio | Special for CALmatters

California has a cost-of-living problem and the recently imposed gas and car tax hikes will only make it worse.

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That’s why nearly 1 million Californians signed the petition to get Proposition 6 on the November ballot. Democrats, independents, and Republicans all see our cost-of-living as unsustainable.

A “yes” vote on Proposition 6 not only will repeal the latest increases in the gas and car taxes, but you will send a clear message to politicians that they need to do more to address the struggles of working Californians who are barely making ends meet. We cannot afford regressive, unfair taxes like the gas and car tax hikes.

This year, we Californians will pay nearly $1 more per gallon because of taxes, fees, and other state government mandates. By 2021, many Californians will be paying close to $2 more a gallon extra because of taxes, fees, and other government mandates. That would be $40 extra each time you fill up your car.

The recently imposed gas and car tax hikes will hit working families hard by increasing the cost-of-living for the typical family of four by roughly $800 per year.  A “yes” vote on Proposition 6 will provide working families with immediate relief from these higher costs.

In addition to fighting the higher cost-of-living, a “yes” vote will end the fraud being perpetrated by Sacramento politicians who divert our gas tax funds.

Politicians are trying to con voters into thinking that the gas tax is earmarked for road repairs. Worse, they’re shamefully running ads claiming that if you don’t accept higher taxes, you may put your life at risk for traffic accidents and collapsing bridges.

How dare they use fear-mongering when they have diverted the existing gas tax funds from those same projects for years.

When you see those scary ads paid for by special interests who want your tax dollars, please remember that prior to these new gas and car tax hikes, California drivers already were paying some of the highest gas taxes in the country, and yet we still have the fourth worst roads.

The theft of our gas tax funds will continue. In fact, the latest gas tax hike law allows politicians to spend the money any way they want, including to cover shortfalls in the state’s general fund. Not a single penny is actually mandated to be spent just on roads.

What little money that does make it to the roads will be riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse. The Reason Foundation’s annual highway report reveals that California spends 2.5 times more per mile of state-controlled highway than the national average.

There is a better solution for fixing California’s roads without a tax increase. A “yes” vote on Proposition 6 vote will give us the mandate to implement better alternatives with real accountability.

The Yes-on-Proposition 6 coalition proposes that 100 percent of the previous gas tax be spent entirely on roads. We also propose earmarking the sales tax on cars to regional, inter-modal transportation projects.

Finally, we would impose significant accountability, efficiency and transparency reforms to make sure our funds are effectively spent.

Take a stand against California’s high cost-of-living and continued gas tax fraud by politicians by voting “yes” on Proposition 6.


Carl DeMaio is a former San Diego city councilman and chairman of the Yes on Proposition 6 campaign. He wrote this commentary for CALmatters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture with whom Times of San Diego is a partner.

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