You know what we were just thinking California could use? Higher taxes.
And it must not just be us "thinking clearly" because the state is about to push through yet another gas excise tax increase that has the state's citizens so annoyed they have committed to "not go anywhere". This begs the Laffer-curve inspired question: what's a 51.1 cent per gallon tax worth when people in the state have just abandoned buying gas altogether?
The new tax went into effect on Thursday, according to CBS 8. It comes from an automatic increase as part of Senate Bill 1 that was signed into law in 2017. The bill incrementally raises the fuel excise tax each year for road and bridge repairs. The report says the tax is now 51.1 cents per gallon, putting California's gas and state taxes at the highest in the country.
California's gas tax has risen by 21 cents since SB1 passed in 2017. At this rate, there will literally be nothing left to tax in a couple of years.
Doug Shupe of AAA talked about the cost to drivers: "It's about six-tenths of a cent per gallon, and for that typical 14-gallon size fuel tank, that means you're paying about 8 cents more per fill up, so not a huge difference."
Even better is the fact that voters had a chance to do away with the gas tax in 2018 as part of Proposition 6 - but the measure failed at the ballot.
California drivers were livid.
"The politicians just keep gouging us for more and more. It doesn't even matter if they're Democrats or Republicans. They just want our money and the thing is, we're not getting the value we're paying for it," said resident Richard Matz.
Another resident, Carl Demaio, said: "It's a fraudulent tax because we were told we were going to get great roads. Well, our roads are the worst in the country according to a variety of indicators."
San Diego currently averages $4.26 per gallon, for regular unleaded gas. The gas tax costs a family of four about $800 per year, the report notes.