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Letter: Fed up with the fuel tax

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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 12:00 am

I’m fed up! I’m betting that when Lodi residents learn about the hidden fuel tax — the 16 to 76 cent per gallon price increase on gasoline and diesel scheduled to “hit” on Jan. 1, 2015 — they will be, too.

As president of retail marketing for Valley Pacific Petroleum, my company knows well the negative impact that higher fuel prices have on our business, on the men and women we employ, on those with whom we do business and, ultimately, on hard-working families, farmers and small business owners.

The Central Valley has borne the brunt of California’s economic downturn. With unemployment higher than the rest of the state, we’re still reeling from the Great Recession. To make matters worse, we’re bearing the brunt of the drought. To be hit with a gas and diesel price hike is just too much.

California already has the nation’s highest fuel prices and pays the nation’s second-highest gasoline tax — 68 cents per gallon. Adding on an additional fee of 16 to 76 cents per gallon on top of what we already pay may generate billions for Sacramento bureaucrats, but at what cost? It will hurt families — especially those who can least afford it — the hardest

Truck and automobile transportation is a fact of life in the Central Valley. To raise fuel prices is the height of insensitivity by Sacramento politicians. I urge everyone to contact Gov. Brown and your Sacramento representatives now. Let them know that the hidden fuel tax must be stopped.

Dale Heinze


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Eric Barrow posted at 8:42 am on Fri, Aug 29, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Not often but this time I agree with Joe and while your at it tell him to ditch the tunnels.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 5:36 am on Fri, Aug 29, 2014.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Tell Governor Moonbeam to stop using taxes the commercial truck industry pays for highway infrastructure and maintenance but have been hijacked to fund state pensions and projects they were never intended.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 3:14 pm on Wed, Aug 27, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Also Ed I have noticed that Lodi has multiple charging stations that allow free recharges. Now that's tempting.

  • Steve Schmidt posted at 2:46 pm on Wed, Aug 27, 2014.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2683

    Eric, that is

  • Steve Schmidt posted at 2:46 pm on Wed, Aug 27, 2014.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2683

    Right you are Kevin. The letter from the petrochemical folks was misleading. ;). Still, the principle remains, folks should pay for the infrastructure as well as the harm they do by using it.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 9:06 am on Wed, Aug 27, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    I don't thinks this tax has to do with roads we passed an increase in registration fees to help pay for roads this tax is about environmental protections namely the air we breath. If you want to save money on gas drive less. With the proposed tax all an individual would have to do is cut their driving back by 5% and they would actually save money. That probably could be accomplished, in most cases, with a little planning.
    Lodi has an inexpensive, easy navigable transit system use it or ride a bike or walk to the Farmers Market once in a while. A study came out today on the Sactown news that shows that those who bike or walk or even take public transportation are less likely to be obese. Win win cleaner air and healthier people.

  • Steve Schmidt posted at 6:56 am on Wed, Aug 27, 2014.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2683

    If people want to drive let them pay for the roads. The more you use them, the more you pay. What could be fairer than that?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:52 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2114

    Mike, are you saying the Republicans snuck this bill past the Liberal controlled government of California? This gas tax that would make driving the environmentally horrible automobiles less desirable. Isn't the environment the liberals crusade?

  • Christina Welch posted at 6:51 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    According to the Sac Bee: "Housing and public transportation sit at the center of Steinberg's proposal. Forty percent of the cap-and-trade revenue would go to affordable housing, including communities built around transit options; 30 percent would subsidize transit projects and 10 percent would fund basic transportation infrastructure like road and highway maintenance, with all three administered through competitive grants." Also, the article says 20% goes toward the high speed rail train.


    If our economy was doing better, this would be something I would be on board with. Maybe its implementation could be delayed? Or, since this is a tax on the oil companies, is there a way to make sure they don't pass the costs on to the consumer? A typical family already pays about 10% of their budget on transportation costs. This will be a regressive tax that will hurt the poor the most. I'm all for the environment and improving our state's infrastructure, but not on the backs of the poor. They can't afford new cars and many of them commute so bicycling isn't an option. Public transportation is only really viable in urban centers, not rural California and it's not a commuter's option, either. On a personal level, I know my family will be adversely affected by this gas increase. But, Mike, you do make a point, so I guess my opinion really doesn't matter, nor does the petition I signed. I'll just add gas to my seemingly ever-increasing costs in life...
    C' est la vie!

  • Mike Adams posted at 5:40 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1573

    People are still going to buy as much gasoline as they did before....the republicans know it, big oil knows it...everyone knows it. Price is going to go up. Everyone knows it. They will still buy gasoline exactly like they did in the past.

    Campaigns, protests, letters, petitions will change nothing, save getting the people behind them riled up.

    Change what you can change, but don't worry about that which you can't.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 5:34 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 559

    So, like many of you, i was curious about this nefarious hidden tax, with such wide variation. So i did little bit of what i like to call "research" on the google machine...


    Sounds like the main ones against this are the fuel industry. That is unless they can gin up some "grassroots" sympathy and find enough citizens to back their cause and heir fight. Let's remember that the big oil companies are the most profitable companies on the planet.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 5:05 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 559

    "Truck and automobile transportation is a fact of life in the Central Valley."
    Agreed. This transportation does need infrastructure and upkeep, though. So the question is: how do we pay for it. I'm not sure about at the state level (haven't googled it yet), but the federal government has not raised the gas tax since... What the late 80's or early 90's... When gas was well below $1/ gal. Add to that, as Kevin pointed out, more fuel efficient cars, and the result is not enough money in the transportation budget, as funded by gas taxes, to keep up with the upkeep for our infrastructure. So if we don't raise the gas tax, how else can we add funding to the transportation budget?

  • Ed Walters posted at 2:42 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Paglia: There is a 5th option, though a bit pricey. Of course you have heard of Tesla, they advertise 250-300 miles before a re-charge is necessary, they have set up re-charging stations at that distance and say their electric cars can go across country free, along with a great ride, very comfortable and looks outstanding. The company continues to work on how to build a better battery. With that range a run to Sac. and back will not need a charge, even SF. The company has great plans to make and sell just about all cars they can make by 2020. Image if half of the people that could afford one bought one, Standard Oil and Shell, do you feel their pain, let them eat cake.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 2:35 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    I agree with Kevin if you want to save money on fuel drive less.

  • Christina Welch posted at 11:26 am on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Agreed! Go to http://www.californiadriversalliance.org/

    and sign the petition, if you're interested.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:04 am on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2114

    The three options if you don't like the fuel tax (Ok four, but the odds of raising enough public outrage over it and stopping it is very slim)

    1--- Buy a high fuel efficiency vehicle. I am hoping to do this with my next vehicle. My current one runs just fine though. I figure I have 5 years before I start looking, but when I do top of the list of desires is 50+MPG.

    2--- Use Public transportation as much as possible. Carpools and whatever else you can to cut on you fuel costs. Not only better for the environment and traffic, but an interesting way to make new friends

    3--- if you live close enough to do so, buy a bicycle and use pedal power to get to and from. There are actually kits out there for about $350 that can turn a beach cruiser or anything similar into a small 49hp motorized bike that can do 20 mph, gets 100 mpg and has a half gallon (easy enough to add more) capacity. If you run out of fuel, you can just pedal to the next gas station


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