McCarthy is president of the California Taxpayers’ Association
(Cal-Tax). For more information on Proposition 42, visit the
campaign Web site: www.yesprop42.com
Proposition 42 will help make
our roads safer and relieve congestion without new taxes. It simply takes the existing sales tax on gasoline, a tax we
already pay at the pump, and uses that transportation tax to help solve the
state’s transportation problems.
Proposition 42 addresses an infrastructure need that is critical to
California’s economic well-being. It
does so by creating a reliable revenue stream that the state’s independent
legislative analyst and other budget analysts have said transportation planners
need as they design and build projects that may take up to 20 years from start
to finish. Unfortunately since the late
1950s, transportation spending in California has diminished from 15% to 5% of
state and local budgets. Proposition 42
moves to reverse this negative trend. Every
day we face the longest commutes and some of the most serious urban congestion
found across the country. A new study by
The Road Information Program found we have the most deteriorated roads and we
spend the least per capita to fix them. Our
transportation infrastructure has become so overburdened that safety is an
issue. More than 6,000 California bridges
and overpasses are structurally deficient or no longer meet highway safety or
Proposition 42 tackles these problems directly.
It requires that the existing gasoline sales tax be spent fixing
potholes, repairing deteriorated roads, making safety improvements to
intersections and streets near schools, improving traffic flow on highways, and
expanding public transit services. It
will help improve infrastructure from basic city and county street maintenance
programs, and finance projects to improve our major regional highways and
freeways. Every city and county in the
state will be guaranteed additional revenues to improve and maintain local
The infrastructure benefits of Proposition 42 come with an economic stimulus
bonus. Coming at a time when our economy could use a boost, speeding up
transportation projects creates thousands of new jobs in construction,
engineering and related services. Every
dollar spent on highway improvements generates about six times that amount in
Another important point about Proposition 42 is that it does not harm the
economy or slow the recovery by demanding more government spending. Instead, it wisely makes use of existing revenues.
The existing gasoline sales tax becomes the revenue engine driving our
response to transportation needs. There
is no new tax, or fee or gimmick. Proposition
42 simply spends existing gasoline sales tax dollars the way most Californians
believe it ought to be spent – fixing roads and improving transportation.
Finally, while Proposition 42 provides new transportation funds, it also
provides a strong dose of accountability. An
annual audit of Proposition 42 funds will be required to help guarantee
transportation projects get delivered on time and on budget.
It’s this kind of oversight that assures taxpayers that their
hard-earned tax dollars are used efficiently and generate the greatest results.
Not surprisingly, there is strong taxpayer support for Proposition 42.
Lead by this organization, the California Taxpayers’ Association, more
than a dozen regional and local taxpayer organizations call for a yes vote on
Proposition 42. We are joined by the
California Chamber of Commerce, California Business Roundtable, California
Association of Highway Patrolmen, California Transportation Commission,
California State Automobile Association (AAA), Automobile Club of Southern
California (AAA), cities and counties, and law
By creating a dependable revenue stream with our existing tax dollars to help
address California’s critical infrastructure need and providing careful
stewardship of those dollars, Proposition 42 improves California and gets us
moving safely again.