Letter to the editor, Daily News, April 26, 2005
(Rebuttal to a previous letter to the editor.)
Kit Maira is only partially correct in quoting the California Energy Commission Web site. Although tax revenues do increase along with gas prices, not all of that turns into local revenues.
Proposition 42, approved by the voters in 2002, permanently dedicated the sales tax on gasoline sales to California's Transportation Investment Fund. However, for the past two fiscal years, the governor and the Legislature have used a loophole to transfer that money to the state general fund instead, meaning that sales tax on gasoline is not reaching local agencies such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The most unfortunate aspect of this is that, statewide, transportation projects have been delayed for two years because of this diversion of funds which would have been used to pay for those projects. Californians are paying at the pump, but not receiving the benefits the taxes at the pump were supposed to provide.