SACRAMENTO: California Democrats have once again increased the regressive gas tax, which disproportionality hurts low-income commuters driving to work.
Californians already suffer the highest gas prices in the nation and today prices increased even more.
But what you might not know -- probably because you're told it isn't happening and would never happen -- is that Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Democrats use a complicated scheme to divert approximately 16 percent of gas tax revenue to the state's all-purpose General Fund, where they money is used for anything they want.
Californians were told this would never happen and that the gas tax money would go to transportation projects only. In 2019, Newsom told Politico: "That money is used for its intended purposes, period, full stop."
But apparently when Newsom and Democrats were negotiating the budget, they did not "full stop," as he said. Approximately $1.2 billion in gas tax funds are diverted annually to the state's General Fund though a California Democrat game of three-card monte.
Newsom will say the funds are "swapped" and not "diverted." Creative word play aside, $1.2B comes in from gas tax, moves around some, and then $1.2B magically appears in the general fund. It's somewhat complicated and confusing, but it is more straightforward than Newsom's perplexing demand for an investigation into why gas prices are so high.
Gas prices are high because you keep raising taxes, Governor. Full stop.