Tax hike would mean a harder road for California's working poor

By Senator Jeff Stone
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Also published in the Press Enterprise

With the exception of just two years in the State Assembly, Democrats have held legislative majorities in California for nearly half a century. What does our state have to show for this?

Californians have the most expensive housing in the country and pay the highest rent.

Our schools are among America’s poorest performing and an estimated 25 percent of Californians live below the federal poverty level.

Thousands of California’s middle-class jobs are fleeing to states like Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

Our state has one of the largest homeless populations, which places a huge burden on cities big and small.

Just this week a new study by Kiplinger lists California as the third-worst state for seniors to retire in and live out their golden years. The study calls California “a retiree’s tax nightmare.”

And now California Democrats, who have seen a $36 billion increase in new revenue in the past seven years — and have not invested one dime of that money to rebuild our state’s crumbling roads and bridges — want to raise your taxes again.

Now, after a half-century of spending taxpayer money on their pet projects and special interests — money that was supposed to repair our roads and bridges — California’s Democrats once again want to reach into the wallets of the poor and hard-working families.

Senate Bill 1, now being debated in the Legislature, will increase taxes on the people of California, who already pay the highest taxes in the nation.

The bill will add 12 cents a gallon to the gasoline tax, which is already among the nation’s highest.

The bill will make it more expensive to register your car, by an average of $48 dollars each year.

The bill will increase the tax on diesel fuel, which will lead to higher shipping costs and add to the cost of food, clothes and medicine.

Who does this tax hike hurt? Not the coastal elite of San Francisco and Los Angeles, who have shorter commutes and much more access to public transportation.

It hurts the very people California’s Democrats always pretend to defend.

It hurts the poor. It hurts the middle class. It hurts small-business owners. It hurts those Californians, especially in Inland and rural areas, who often must drive long distances to get to their jobs.