Point Of View: Governor Brown Studying A Mileage Based Vehicle Tax

? Governor Brown, almost as soon as your first term started you began a relentless push for high speed rail. Since then you have raised billions of dollars for your train. But what about the billions needed to fix our states crumbling roads and bridges.

This has not been one of your priorities.

Building roads and highways was, however, of utmost importance to your father, Governor Pat Brown. Under his administration, the California transportation system became the envy of the world. Now, Governor Brown, in your second term inaugural speech you finally acknowledged the mounting $59 billion dollar road and bridge repair backlog, four years too late. This neglect is an embarrassment. So now you are looking for an answer. A magic bullet, so to speak.

You recently signed legislation authorizing a task force to study implementing a mileage based vehicle tax. If this went into effect, Californians would be taxed based on the amount of miles they drive. The idea is a disaster waiting to happen.

How many more government intrusions do we have to bear?

How many more taxes are we going to have to pay?

Government tracking our mileage is an attack on privacy.

What we should be doing about the $59 billion dollar shortfall is to spend the billions that Californians are already paying in taxes – more efficiently. One way to make our tax dollar go further would be to eliminate all "Project Labor Agreements". This would save approximately 25% on our highway repair costs. These union contracts restrict the state from effectively negotiating road repair for the most competitive price. Additionally, there is several billion dollars a year in transportation fees and taxes being funneled into the general fund which should be going towards improving our roads. Needless to say so should the billions of dollars you are allocating for high speed rail.

Governor Brown you have the money to fix our roads and highways right now. We do not need to consider impractical, big government future solutions like a mileage tax. The highways we drive on are deteriorating. Now is the time to take positive action to improve the roads which will benefit all the citizens of California.

Thanks for listening.

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