A Republican state senator is called the “pivotal” vote in giving California the largest gas and car tax increase in its history.
Anthony Cannella, who represents the Merced area, admits to trading his vote to give the governor his $52 billion tax increase over 10 years to fix “critical infrastructure” in the state.
And in return, he told the San Jose Mercury News that he got some goodies for his district:
“When they gave me the things I asked for, I have to vote for it.”
For his vote, Governor Jerry Brown gave the state senator more than $400 million for his district. Due to term limits, Cannella will leave his Senate job in 2018.
They included money to build an extension for a train from San Jose to his district and millions for a “parkway.”
“I started this 2-1/2 years ago. I made the things that are important to me very clear. Number one was Ace Train; Ace Train to where it currently terminates to Merced. And there were some other things as well. I’ve been working very hard with the governor’s office… ”
While the train and mark don’t seem to fit the idea of “critical infrastructure” lawmakers promised, Brown told reporters they were trifles when compared to the large tax increase:
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as big as this particular transportation bill. I would say some of the, uh, arrangements that were entailed in this process, they may look large, but relative to $52 billion it’s all pretty modest.”
During the new conference after the vote, Brown was surrounded by high-fiving, back-slapping and clapping Democrats, all but two of whom voted for the bill.
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Jon Coupal told KPCC that the bill insulted the intelligence of the voting public:
“It is unnecessary and insulting to the taxpayers of the state of California. There is so much money sloshing around in California that could pay for this, we don’t need another tax.”
True, the California Policy Center reports that 61 percent of Californians believe that their current taxes should already cover keeping roads, bridges and infrastructure safe:
Polling shows the public dubious of the tax plan. Californians oppose the myriad tax-hike proposals, but overwhelmingly agree (61 percent) with Republicans that instead of raising taxes, the California Department of Transportation, Caltrans, should “make better use of revenue.”
The state Democrats regained their majority in November and used it to push through the tax increase with the help of the one Republican vote, instead of taking it to a vote of the people.
Cannella predicted a social media hate wave and revealed that he had a plan:
I think I’m going to stay off social media today…
— Anthony Cannella (@AnthonyCannella) April 6, 2017
Cannella was called a sellout and much worse:
@AnthonyCannella You don't need to stay off of social media. You just either need to resign or declare yourself a Democrat.
— Steve Schlesinger (@ltifoto) April 7, 2017
@AnthonyCannella Can someone say sellout?
— Fats Domino (@FatsFats1) April 7, 2017
@AnthonyCannella Stay off social media? I have a better idea…apologize to your constituents and the Republican party for selling out on SB-1. Disgusting!
— Reed Berry (@ReedsPlace) April 7, 2017
@AnthonyCannella Oh great!
Higher "gas tax" to siphon into the general fund so unbridled state spending can continue
I object to rampant waste of MY tax $$$
— HeisenbergHattie (@HBergHattie) April 7, 2017
— Brady Moore (@MooreB5454) April 7, 2017
@AnthonyCannella A sad day for California…
— David Jacobsen (@D_Jacobsen) April 7, 2017
@AnthonyCannella The sellout goes into hiding…. of course.
— CeasarHurtado (@CeasarAHurtado) April 7, 2017
The tax plan would increase gas taxes 12 cents a gallon, a 43 percent increase, diesel taxes 20 cents, a 180 percent increase, and car taxes by an average of $51 per year.
The Jarvis group says the “typical motorist could expect the plan to cost $200 a year.”
And for the first time, zero missions cars will be slapped with a $100 per year fee, starting in 2020.
Even though Democrats promise that the taxes will go to fund road and bridge repair, some Californians are dubious.
The California Policy Center calls the tax increase a “pension tax” and predicts that the money will be diverted to pay for outstanding public employee pensions.
California’s pension costs have doubled since Brown took office. The Center says the state has a $1 trillion unfunded pension liability.
Trade unions and construction companies teamed up to spend $1 million to run ad campaigns and pressure lawmakers to approve the bill that would most certainly continue funding current jobs in the Golden State, as well as create the need for new ones.