GASOLINE TAX The Unthinkable!!!!
This is a challenge for Californians to think differently about solving our state budget crisis without an increase in sales or income taxes. This is a challenge to reduce highway congestion and reduce our dependency on Middle East oil. A challenge, to stop spending billions of your dollars to purchase Middle East oil. A challenge to improve mass transit while reducing air pollution and global warming.
In 2001, California imported 194,584,879 barrels of foreign crude oil. At current oil prices that equals $5.8 billion dollars of your money going to some foreign country. Can you guess from which foreign country most of our oil imports came? (See below for answer)
Europeans do not worry about the Middle East crisis as we do. Why? Europeans don’t import as much oil as we do because they use smaller cars and have an excellent mass transit system. In 1992, Californians used 13,106,435,261 gallons of gas. Eight years later Californians purchased 14 (billion),715,765,344 gallons of gas (a 12% increase). Our state uses more gasoline than most European countries.
In 1992, Californians owned 22,210,417 passenger and commercial vehicles. Eight years later we own 25,557,332 vehicles. In those eight years we added 3,346,918 more vehicles. Each year we add 400,000 more vehicles to our roads. We can't build highways fast enough to sustain this growth. And our cities no longer have space for new roads. Americans have been talking about less foreign oil dependency, cleaner air and fuel-efficient cars for 20+ years. Europe and Japan solved the problem 20 years ago with about a $2 tax on each gallon of gas. Result, Europeans use smaller cars, they depend less on Middle East oil, they have better mass transit, they don't buy our giant cars and they have less tail pipe emissions.
Californians pay about 48¢ per gallon in federal and state gasoline taxes.
We can balance our budget without increasing sales and income taxes. We don’t have to take money away from our cities, our schools and our counties. Raise gasoline taxes and Californians will have the money they need to balance the budget. The choice is ours. We can use our money for our schools and mass transit or we can use the money to purchase Middle East oil. A 60¢ a gallon tax will raise $8.5 billion dollars to balance our budget. There would be no need for a sales or income tax increase. A motorist who switches to a 30% more gas-efficient vehicle will not even feel the tax increase. Everyone wins. The state gets the extra revenue. We have less highway congestion. We import less oil from the Middle East.
A gas tax eliminates the need to increase sales taxes, which dampen sales and drive purchases to other states. A gas tax gives us the incentive to purchase fuel-efficient cars, to carpool or to take mass transit. All of which reduce highway congestion.
Europe and Japan have been taxing gasoline for decades. It is time we Californians had an honest and open debate as to the long-term benefits of increasing gasoline tax. We can have a balanced budget, cleaner air, less highway congestion, improved mass transit and less dependency on Middle East oil by simply increasing the state gas tax. This is about California’s future— the California our children will inherit.
A gas tax is fair. Everyone pays—individuals, private car owners, businesses, and commercial vehicle owners. Rich and poor all pay and all benefit. The California budget crisis won’t go away on its own. You could let your legislature squeeze more money out of you with their various tax schemes. Or, you can influence history and make California a better state and less dependent on foreign oil by raising the gas tax. It’s our choice. We can pay more gasoline taxes or send our money to the Middle East.
Write the Governor, your state senator and state assembly person. Do it today.
Do you have the time or money to help promote a gasoline tax? Want to help build a grass roots organization to promote a gasoline tax? Send your address and phone number to:
- Stan Shore
- P.O. Box 1384
- Palo Alto, CA. 94302
A concerned California citizen.
- In 2001, Californians imported 54,879,740 barrels of crude oil from IRAQ. (28.2% of all imported foreign crude) and
- another 21.8% came from Saudi Arabia.
- 50% of our imported oil came from these two countries.
No one likes taxes. But we can choose how we pay our taxes.
GASOLINE TAX The Unthinkable!!!!