jpadc wrote:True enough, but if the expenditures fall woefully short of the revenue collected for something, the people are likely to (and should) take that out on their elected officials.
It's the other way around - the "issue" is the revenue collected from gas taxes is woefully short of the expenditures, so the difference is made up with the general fund. Although I wouldn't really say that it's an issue at all, as any planner with half a brain would know that the revenue from any excise tax (like the gas tax) would naturally fall over time and can't be relied upon to support an expenditure which will only rise over time.
You're absolutely correct that the people should take out their frustration on their elected officials - those officials should responsibly allocate money from the general fund for high priority needs like infrastructure (that's their job after all.) However, the invention of these "dedicated tax revenues" results in quite the opposite: When money for infrastructure falls short the people direct their frustration at "freeloading EV drivers" rather than politicians.
As for roads in CA, I don't drive them but everyone here who does says there in bad shape (as there are everywhere in the country frankly) and because tax collection revenues to fix them don't exist, they either need more money or to decide to just let them deteriorate more and more. If you don't like the roads crumbling, the question then because where to get the funds. If the State get is by raising sales taxes or income taxes or any other tax that everybody pays, that's good right?
The California budget is actually in great shape right now - we don't have any need for new taxation. However, if there were a shortfall, then you're correct that any and all types of revenue generating schemes should be considered.There's no reason at all to link infrastructure spending to infrastructure users.
In my opinion, if new taxation is needed it would make more sense to first go after the top earners, with for example income taxes or property taxes. Things like vehicle registration taxes and sales taxes are regressive - they disproportionately affect the poor, and they stymie consumer spending by making purchases more expensive. The gas tax is also regressive, but I'd say it should be maintained or increased in order to discourage consumption, since producing and burning gas has so many known deleterious effects. But the revenues from it should just go into the general fund like any other tax and not be tied to any specific expenditures.
So as long as the tax increase is not directed at EV ownership, but a more general tax increase for everyone, you're all good with it, right?
Aside from the above rant on regressive taxes, sure. But again, it's really hard to justify any
sort of new tax in California in the midst of a huge budget surplus