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Opinion

Readers React: Recipe for another Prop. 13: A budget surplus, plus a higher gas tax

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Gov. Gavin Newsom presents his first state budget on Jan. 10, 2019, in Sacramento.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: Here’s an idea for Gov. Gavin Newsom: Use some of California’s budget surplus to institute a state gas tax moratorium until the base price of gasoline falls below $3.25 per gallon.

Use part of the surplus to offset the temporary loss of gas tax revenue earmarked to fix our road infrastructure, which was the excuse for instituting the last big state gas tax increase of 12 cents per gallon in November 2017 (with another 5.6 cent per gallon increase set for July 2019).

It makes no sense to tax people to death on a necessity like gasoline while the state’s coffers are overflowing. Situations like this are what led to a thing called Proposition 13, where constituents finally had enough and took matters into their own hands.

Raising the gas tax when gasoline base prices are already through the roof, while ignoring the fact that substitute funding can be found in state coffers already filled to the brim is the ultimate in tone deafness and will lead to a similar taxpayer revolt.

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Jon Rowe, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: Where should California spend its budget surplus? This is a question for which the answer can be found in the pages of the L.A. Times this week.

The Los Angeles Unified School District needs teacher librarians and books for elementary school students. Children there and in other financially struggling districts deserve this.

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Suzanne Brugman, La Habra Heights

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