(Excerpt from Sacramento Bee story)
Global warming is here. Its impact won’t be receding. Ever more volatile weather systems will be sink-holing roads, undermining bridges and sluicing boulder-filled mud down onto critical rail lines and transportation links.
That’s something to keep in mind as the Nov. 6 election approaches, with its partisan debate over whether to repeal California’s recent tax increases for roads and transportation. Proposition 6, part of a strategy to drive up conservative turnout in the 2018 election, would put the kibosh on some $52 billion worth of transportation funding over the next decade.
And as The Sacramento Bee’s Alexei Koseff reported on Tuesday, if the repeal succeeds, its backers are already planning a follow-up initiative to severely restrict the use of transportation revenue from fuel taxes, car sales taxes and truck weight fees.
Tempting as it may sound to save a few cents at the pump – or to aim a satisfying, anti-tax kick in the pants at spendthrift state lawmakers – voters should remember that there’s a price for the short-term pleasure of jerking purse strings.
What’s that price? For starters, about 6,500 bridge and road safety, transportation and transit projects if Proposition 6 passes, according to a recent estimate from the nonpartisan American Road & Transportation Builders Association. That and $5 billion a year or more in cuts to other state obligations, such as courts and universities, if the follow-up ballot measure succeeds, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis.