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Transit Money To Disappear?

Sonora, CA — Transit dollars could be disappearing if Governor Schwarzenegger has his way.

In his budget Schwarzenegger has proposed swapping gas tax revenue for an excise tax. Gas tax revenue is used for local roads and transportation. Initially consumers would save perhaps five cents a gallon of gasoline but overall the county would lose in the neighborhood of a half-a-million dollars in the “bait and switch” proposal.

According to the county’s Director of Transportation Darrin Grossi, funding would be reduced by $500,000 for city and road maintenance.

It would also undermine the voter approved guarantee on the use of sales tax on gasoline. It would limit the ability to transports seniors and disabled citizens and students to Columbia College on buses and it would also reduce the ability to get people to work.

Commented Grossi, “The whole system is a mess. There are some ballot initiates being talked about for this November that will lock in the revenues that the motorists pay on their gas taxes for just transportation purposes and I think that’s getting more and more important these days. What we’re seeing is continued efforts to divert those dollars to other uses by the state.”

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com