Measure M: '2 Views on Sales Tax Hike for Roads'

Having read "2 Views on Sales Tax Hike for Roads" (Oct. 15), I have a much clearer understanding of Measure M, the so-called transportation maintenance and road improvements initiative. The opponent, Sandra Genis, provided persuasive arguments. I will vote against Measure M.

Still, there are two things I don't understand: First, why wasn't the transportation tax affixed to automobile gasoline consumption? When I pull up to a service station, I can't help but notice, for instance, the vast spread in price for virtually the same product. Self-service, regular unleaded gas can be purchased from about 87 cents per gallon to over $1, more than a 13-cent-per-gallon spread. For those who still want full service, the price for the same gas can jump by as much as 45 cents per gallon--or a whopping $9 per 20-gallon tank!

Obviously, there's a lot of leeway for a consumer-tolerant gasoline tax. And unlike the sales tax, a gasoline tax relates directly to the purpose it serves: automobile transportation, thereby sending a message to automobile users and producers alike that more efficient fuel consumption would be in the public's best interest. A sales tax, on the other hand, makes no sense because it is not directly related to the purpose, and, in fact, penalizes those who use mass transit.

Secondly, I don't understand why we're still absorbed with providing more roads for more cars, unless it's for "the more people" who will come from "the more houses" built by a special-interest group that backs the initiative--those who profit from "the more houses," the developers! If we were truly concerned with improving transportation, we would be promoting tax initiatives that moved more people via clean transportation methods. I am eager for the day when I can vote yes on initiatives that move people via clean transportation methods and will vote no on anything less.


Laguna Beach

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