For those of us fortunate enough to live in Califorkya, after being told for decades to conserve on gas, we got a new gas tax hike today (highest in USA). They had to increase the tax because gas consumption has fallen thereby reducing their revenue. So, the new motto is "burn more gas, reduce taes". Perfect political logic.
3.5 cents is the additional tax on both gas and diesel. Funny you don't hear too much about the tax on the news but you sure do hear about gay marriage here in Gayifornia
My new plan is when taxes go up in Taxifornia I buy less from local and state business's. I shop online as much as possible.
Here in Washington they are attempting to add another 10.5 cents per gallon of gas. We aren't the most heavily "gas taxed" state but are in the top 3.
I heard on the news "They" (Whoever "THEY" are) were thinking of putting a big tax on electric and hybrid cars because they drive on the same roads as other cars but don't pay near as much 'Road Tax', as 'Road Tax' comes from fuel sales.
Trucks escape most of their share of costs. I saw an Illinois study many years ago that a big rig at gross weight does as much damage to the road as 8,000 cars.
A partially weight based tax would be more fair than the present federal and state x-cents per gal, and state sales tax.
Instead of rebates for electrics, they should add the lifetime cost for projected road damage. The batteries in the Tesla Model S weigh 1,000 pounds, almost as much as an early T.
I'm not going to fret over 1% more tax on gas; after all, medical costs to the state for traffic accidents and chronic diseases are rising rapidly.
Here in New Hampshire, the news a few months ago was that one of our largest electric suppliers (Public Service Co. of New Hampshire - which is owned by an out of state company) petitioned the authorities to raise rates because the populace was conserving electricity and the company was not making an "adequate" return on their investment.
Can't win...conserve energy to save energy & money, then the cost of what one uses goes up anyway!
Dave, what if you didn't have those awful bureaucratic regulators? Pubic Service would raise their rates without limits, like Enron did to Calif back in 2000.
We're stuck with paying to shut down the San Onofre nuke plant, and still nowhere to put the spent rods. Our electric rates are scaled, making .31/kwh the max rate on my bill. Use less, it's at a cheaper rate.
But you get to feel 'GREEN'! Surely, that's worth something!
what are you complaining about ?????
It's only half the price it is in Europe !
This is a great example of the fact that our political & taxation systems do not reflect our values and objectives. A little drift, but another one is:
Years ago I watched a PBS panel discussion about the use of tobacco. The panel included Edwin Coop (then surgeon general), execs from a few tobacco companies, social security, medicare, doctors, etc.
At one point, a doctor with good intentions was pontificating about how much better off we'd be if we could just wave a magic wand and "poof" tobacco would be gone. We'd live longer and more healthful lives, and besides look at all the money we'd save on medical care for tobacco induces disease.
The guy from social security/medicare jumped in and said that removing tobacco is a great thing. Yes, we would live longer and more healthful lives, BUT it will NOT SAVE MONEY. The entire system of medicare and social security is built on current actuarials. If people suddenly live several years longer you'll completely break the social security system and the medicare system. Added years of life equals more social security expense and you still must pay for people's final illness, whatever it is. Bottom line, smokers need to die on schedule for the system to function.
Anyhow, just another example of a system that is actually designed 180 degrees away from what we should be doing.......
I support the tobacco tax by 3X per day... those damn things helped win WWII, built the interstate highway system, AND help educate the un-educable. Proud to be an American and do my part. So now we are gonna go put 200 gallons of MARINE gas on the 40 foot boat. That one gets about 1/2 MPG and the gas in 4.29/gal.
Leaving on a boat trip in a few weeks and will burn at the very minimum, 1000 gallons. ws
Keep this in the favorites on the bozoputer when you need a daily laugh...
Uncle Dave's Grace
By Lou and Peter Berryman
Thanksgiving day Uncle Dave was our guest
Who reads the Progressive which makes him depressed
We asked Uncle Dave if he'd like to say grace
A dark desolation crept over his face
Thanks he began as he gazed at his knife
To poor Mr. Turkey for living his life
All crowded and cramped in a great metal shed
Where life was a drag then they cut off his head
Thanks he went on for the grapes in my wine
Picked by sick women of seventy nine
Scrambling all morning for bunch after bunch
Then brushing the pesticide off of their lunch
Thanks for the stuffing all heaped on my fork
Shiny with sausage descended from pork
I think of the trucks full of pigs that I see
And can't help imagine what they think of me
Continuing, I'd like to thank if you please
Our salad bowl hacked out of tropical trees
And for this mahogany table and chair
We thank all the jungles that used to be there
For cream in our coffee and milk in our mugs
We thank all the cows full of hormones and drugs
Whose calves are removed at a very young age
And force-fed as veal in a minuscule cage
Oh thanks for the furnace that heats up these rooms
And thanks for the rich fossil fuel it consumes
Corrupting the atmosphere ounce after ounce
But we're warm and toasty and that is what counts
I'm grateful he said for these clothes on my back
Lovely and comfy and cheap off the rack
Fashioned in warehouses noisy and cold
In China by seamstresses seven years old
And thanks for my silverware setting that shines
In memory of miners who died in the mines
Worn down by the shoveling of tailings in piles
Whose runoff destroys all the rivers for miles
We thank the reactors for our chandelier
Although the plutonium won't disappear
For hundreds of decades it still will be there
But a few more Chernobyls and who's gonna care
Sighed Uncle Dave though there's more to be told
The wine's getting warm and the bird's getting cold
And with that he sat down as he mumbled again
Thank you for everything, amen
We felt so guilty when he was all through
It seemed there was one of two things we could do
Live without food in the nude in a cave
Or next year have someone say grace besides Dave
The story in NH is that the State allowed the citizens to purchase power from "outside" electric companies at a lower price while continuing to pay PSNH for the distribution. (It saved me close to $40 per month.)
The PSNH electric cost was regulated by the state so they could not lower the bill, but if someone moved to an "outside" supplier, PSNH is allowed to sell at a lower cost if the customer wants to return.
This makes sense to the politicians - Make the citizens pay a higher price until they are wise enough to do something about it.
This is like the stores that say that they will match any advertised price. They keep a high price and only match a lower one When someone produces and ad.
My question - Why not just lower the price in the first place?
Or how about the grocery store cards?
"If you have their special card, you can save $xx on specially marked items."
99% of the time I don't have the card because my pocket in not big enough to carry all of them!
I usually tell them that I don't have the card with me and they swipe a supervisor's card.
My Question - Why don't they just lower the price in the first place?
Someday I'll be in a bad mood and I'll be at the checkout with a stack of stuff.
When they ask if I have a super saver card I'll just tell them that they are making it hard to save money by shopping there and I'll just walk away.
I'm with you, Fred. Every Wednesday, I sit down at the computer and scroll through a list of hundreds of grocery items and select the ones I want added to my card so I can buy the groceries at the price they should already be.
It was the "Board of Equalization" that increased the tax. The news media was silent about it until today when it took effect, then it made the front page of the papers and the TV news. This tax is added to the price of gas before it is posted on the pump, so it is invisible to the customer.
The customer will blame it on the oil companies. Of course the state is also responsible for the high price of the oil before the tax is added, because we have a different formula for the gas, so if there is a shortage it cannot be imported from other states.
This will continue until and unless the voters vote out the offending politicians. Unfortunately, this is an off year, so by the next election, it will be forgotten and something else will capture the news.
Just recently, the news was that so many folks have left PSNH that there are fewer customers remaining to pay the bill for the improvements to the Bow Coal Plant. Either rates go thru the roof for those who don't switch, or (perish the thought)....reorganization of some kind?
"Energy prices will necessarily skyrocket".
It is not a surprise that knowledgeable people switched to the lower cost alternative.
The surprise is that there are so many!
But we have to remember that this is NH where most of the people still have brains - except for the transplants in the border towns.
Logic has never been something that california had a surplus on.
Ricks, you forget the weighted tags that semis have to buy in order to operate. While the cost of them differs from state-to-state since tags are state issued they are significantly higher in cost. Also, They do indeed burn more fuel and therefore pay more road-taxes (although granted not 8,000 times more fuel.) I am always hesitant of numbers like that but i will trust you know what you are talking about.
Also, keep in mind, big rigs are 99% commercial. They haul Goods to market, Gravel to your driveway, ect ect. If all the sudden you taxed them do you really think that cost wouldnt be passed down to the consumer. realistically, all taxes are passed to the consumer. This is why they arent taxed more. Its trickle-down economics (the bad kind lol)
Fred, They dont price the groceries at that price because they make more money if you dont jump through the hoops plain and simple. is it right? wrong? now we are having a different discussion.
Also, let me say that i live in NC which has the highest gas tax in the southeast! before this last election cycle the dems were talking about raising it again!! thank god we voted in our first majority republican house since the civil war last year!
Nathan - Before we get too far away from truck transportation, I have to enter my $0.02!
A large portion of the truck traffic that's pounding the heck out of our mostly worn out interstate highway system should be on the railroad.
Shippers want the convenience of door-to-door shipping; they don't want to spend the extra time and trouble of delivering and picking up trailers/containers at the intermodal rail terminals. Door-to-door shipping, altho' more convenient, is much more expensive, but that does not matter to the shippers and consignees as the added expense is just passed on to us "transportation ignorant" consumers in the form of HIGHER PRICES for consumer goods, so that WE all (unknowingly) pay for the door-to-door shipping convenience and let these monster trucks continue to pound the heck out of our interstate highways and add to the traffic and congestion and DANGER to the public, every time we drive on the highways with these monster trucks! Doubles, triples and 53' trailers are just plain dangerous, but the trucking industry's lobbys keep "pushing" for more. It's another reason I say that here in the U.S.A., we have the finest government that money can buy!
Will Rogers said "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."
Drive I-5 between Gorman and Stockton to see what big trucks do. Where it's two lanes, the right lane is too rough to ride safely.
TAX EVERYTHING. THAT IS THE AMERICAN WAY. JUST ASK HENRY FORD!
Getting back to Chuck's original post and Norm's comment about the Board of Equalization, I have a question. As I understand things, the Board of Equalization essentially administers CA taxes and tax law. By what authority do they increase taxes on anything?
I imagine there's law in place that provides them a certain amount of "latitude" do do pretty much as they please. So, who's responsible for the delegation of taxing authority?
I think I know the answers to my questions, but if we're ever going to get control of our representative government the first step is understanding exactly how things actually work. There are way too many layers for most folks to wade through, so real understanding and subsequent corrections seldom occur.
Ralph - Yeah, I've done that, with a Class A motorhome, both I-5 and Rte 99 between Sacramento and Bakersfield, also both ways by car, and, you might remember, I bought our '27 depot hack from Pete Cosner's family, so made that trip with a 1-ton crew cab duelly pickup and open trailer for the depot hack. In other words, I know very well what you're talking about Ralph; those truckers do pay more tax than automobiles, but not nearly enough to cover the damage they do with all that weight! Yeah, I suppose I am a prejudiced retired railroader, but not likely to change my mind,.........harold
A number of years ago, there was only Federal and State Gasoline tax on gasoline. The taxes were purported to be used for roads. There was no sales tax on gas. Then about 20 years ago there was a proposition on the ballot to extend sales the sales tax to gasoline. That sales tax is on both the gas and the other taxes. so if the price of gas goes up or the taxes on gas go up, the sales tax also goes up. The board of equalization handles the sales tax. Unfortunately, as with most political lies, the sales tax on gas was to be used for "transportation" That was to include mass transportation and highways. The people passed the proposition. Well, it went to other things too. The legislature can do just about anything they want with the taxes. I could go on and on about other problems with other taxes, but this topic is about the California sales tax on gas and diesel.
I would assume that rail, while perhaps cheaper, would take longer. I would also infer that consumers often would rather pay slightly more for faster service. I do believe that recent studies have found trucking to be equal in price to that of rail although i have no firsthand proof.
I do agree that trucks in general make our highways less safe. However I will say that just the handful of truckers i know first hand are some of the best drivers (of any vehicle) out there. Id say the majority of crashes that involve 18wheelers are due to drivers not giving these trucks the space they need to safely operate.
p.s. sorry for this thread drift everyone.
Fred, tell Will Rogers we are getting trillions more government than we (and our grand kids and their grand kids) are paying for.
I understand what you are saying, Norm. But that does not explain a $.035 increase by the BoE. A sales tax is a percent of the dollar amount of the transaction. $.035 per gallon is a tax on the product (excise tax).
The following is a gasoline price snapshot taken from a table on the ca.gov energy almanac website. Understanding the end retail price floats with the market, the BoE increased the state excise tax on gasoline from $0.36 to $0.395 per gallon.
CA "Branded" Gasoline of May 20, 2013:
2.55 Crude Oil
0.60 Refinery cost and profit
0.02 State underground tank fee
0.09 State and local sales tax
0.36 State excise tax
0.18 Federal excise tax
$4.05 Retail price
My question is, by what authority did they do that? This whole notion of their stated purpose being to "ensure revenue neutrality" simply means we the voters and taxpayer are no longer in the loop. Our ONLY job is to pay.
Rick, the Trucks you are taking about in California and Washington state pay more than their fair share of the road taxes. I have owned truck in both state and just the Yearly registration is better than $ 3,000 each. Next you need to figure in the fuel taxes at 54 cents per gallon. Now if my truck would burn 100 gallons per day which often times it would, that would be $54 a day or $270 in a 5 day work week. In 52 weeks that tax comes to $14,040 in a year. Now add the $3000 license fees and you have a grand total of $17,000 in fees just to run our trucks down the highways and try to make a living. There are other taxes that the Local Truckers Association says bring this number closer to $22,000 per year.
Now that you know what we pay into the system the better question is, what are the states doing with this money.
Here in WA the state uses this money for all sorts of things besides roads, it's sort of a slush fund for them.
Also next time you see a trucker on the highway know that he by state and federal law is the safest driver on our highways. Smile and give them a wave as you pass them on the road..
Most taxes are unfair. The ones that exist are because they are effective to collect. Sales tax puts the major burden of collection on the retailer.
A friend of a friend works for the Board of Equalization. She says the flagrant tax cheats are the immigrants, especially middle eastern and Asian.