Dave Miller who is challenging incumbent Assemblyman Jim Frazier in his race for re-election issued a statement opposing Frazier’s proposal for an increase in the gas tax.
Following is Miller’s statement:
There are two undisputed facts that everyone should know: California has the highest Gas Prices of any state that is not an island. There are a number of reasons for this and all of them originated in our legislature.
Gas and Diesel taxes hurt the working poor more than any other group. The working poor are more likely to commute farther for work -that alone is enough of a burden, they have to drive more. In addition to that, increasing the Diesel tax means that it costs more to deliver goods and services. Businesses pass along the higher delivery cost to customers in the form of higher prices. Which means our dollars don’t go as far as they used to.
Assemblyman Frazier, the chairman of the Transportation Committee, knows this. He just doesn’t care. He knows that the people that will be the most affected by this are too busy trying as hard as they can to eek out a living that they don’t have the time or money to pay attention.
Knowing that, yesterday Assemblyman Frazier joined with State Senator Jim Beall, according to the LA Times, to unveil their new gas tax plan. Here are some highlights:
- Additional 17 cent per gallon tax on gasoline.
- Additional 30 cent per gallon tax on diesel.
- $165 annual fee added to the registration fees for electric cars.
The creation of a new political bureaucracy – The Office of Transportation Inspector General. (I wonder how much of the new gas tax will have to be used to pay for that…)
Assemblyman Frazier is hoping that no one notices another key point of his tax plan. It is designed to increase inflation annually thus triggering a higher tax on gasoline automatically. Inflation is calculated by looking at the Consumer Price Index. The more things cost – the higher inflation is. So he is going to increase the costs of all goods and services by increasing the cost of fuel. By tying his tax to inflation Assemblyman Frazier is taking his planned price increases for all goods and services -caused by his tax plan- and turning them into a self-fulfilling prophecy of ever increasing gas taxes and higher inflation.
This is not his first attempt to increase the tax on each gallon of gasoline. On January 6th of 2016 Assemblyman Frazier introduced AB-1591 which would have increased the tax on gasoline by 22.5 cents per gallon and 30 cents per gallon of diesel. In addition to the new gas tax AB-1591 would have increased the cost of annual vehicle registration from $38 to $165 depending on your vehicle. Like his current proposal AB-1591 would have also been tied to inflation and automatically increased annually. AB-1591 died in committee. But Assemblyman Frazier told the L.A. Times that he would try to push for a lame duck session to get his new bill passed.
The big issue with trying to force it though a lame duck session is that you may end up with enough legislators that lost their elections, or decided to retire, that might vote for something that their constituencies do not want since there is no political consequence. What Assemblyman Frazier is doing here is putting politics before people.
As many of you know Jim has skipped out on 2 scheduled debates with me. The most recent he had a fellow democrat try to come to his aide by saying that he was stuck in a committee hearing. When the truth is that he had an hour and 45 minutes after the conclusion of his meeting to get just 35 miles. Even if he hadn’t left the capitol for 30 minutes after his hearing AND got caught in traffic, and hit every red light, he still would have been able to make it to the debate.
So, I have issued a challenge, anytime, anywhere. I will debate Mr. Frazier anytime, anywhere. But, he is too scared to debate a serious contender that knows the Assemblyman’s record better than the Assemblyman does, himself.
Frazier is seeking his third term in the Assembly. For more information about Miller, visit his website at www.electdavemiller.com. The election is on Tuesday, November 8.