California Dolphin: statewide California news

Prop. 69 would stop Sacramento from diverting new gas tax: Roadshow

Q: Isn’t it almost to the point where a state constitutional amendment is needed to prevent or limit diversion of gasoline, automobile, bridge and other road taxes like tolls, fees, etc.?
David Simpson


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A: Voters will get a chance to do just that next month. Backers of the new gas tax have put Proposition 69 on the ballot, which would ensure that the $5.2 billion a year it would raise could only be used for transportation improvements. If approved in June, the measure would prohibit the legislature from borrowing or diverting these revenues for non-transportation purposes.
Q: You recently said bad roads cost drivers more than $700 a year in repairs. But, to me, that is saying that the average motorist in California is going to spend $700-plus a year on things like broken shocks, blown tires, bent wheels and alignments.
I don’t believe those numbers. In my circle of family and friends I can count on one hand the number of actual repairs ever done due to bad roads.
Tony DiBenedetto
San Jose
A: Oh you doubter. Awhile back other drivers made the same claim of disbelief, which led to an avalanche of comments from those who suffered expensive repairs due to potholes. etc. Like A.K. Lund of San Mateo who got a $900 bill after smacking into a large pothole on Interstate 280 near Sand Hill Road that shredded two tires and cracked the rim. Or Eduardo Bernardo who spent $5,400 for pothole damage on Highway 101.
But the topper went to Sherie Blake of San Jose whose Acura was a total loss at  $14,600 after hitting a monster crack on Interstate 580 near Tracy two years ago.
Q: So the gas tax goes up 12 cents, the first time in almost three decades. What costs now what it did then? Certainly not cars or food.
But critics say this is the end of civilization. Did anyone notice that after the tax went up 12 cents a gallon in November, the price of gas rose 30 cents or more? Or that the spread from regular to premium which was about 10 cents for years is now 30 cents or more?
Government necessity bad, corporate greed good? How’s that again?
Richard Friedman
Sacramento
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A: I bet Lund, Bernardo and Blake think the new 12-cent a gallon gas tax to pave our roads is worth it.
Q: Any chance Highway 1 will get paved north of Half Moon Bay? It sure needs it.
Mark H.
Half Moon Bay
A: You ask; Caltrans listens. The state will be soon be repaving Highway 1 from Gray Whale Cove to the Highway 1/I-280 interchange. This is the first major repaving here in more than 20 years. Work should be done around Halloween.
Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com .