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Red states have raised their gas taxes — but not as much as in California

Red states have raised their gas taxes — but not as much as in California
Gas prices are displayed at an Arco gas station in Mill Valley in 2014. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: If George Skelton is going to write a column supporting California’s higher gas tax by claiming that it is now a Republican thing to do because conservatives in other states are raising their taxes (“California Republicans say raising gas taxes is a bad thing. GOP politicians in some red states don’t agree,” Oct. 26), at least he could provide these facts:

  • California’s gas taxes — including all the various fees but excluding the federal tax — are already 20% higher than the national average.

  • Only six states have higher gas taxes than the current California tax rate.

  • Of those six states, only one (Michigan) has Republicans controlling both the governor’s office and the state Legislature.

  • With the new taxes that will be imposed, we’ll become the third-highest taxed state in the country for gasoline.

I can’t even come up with a witty comment to end this with. The state collects so much from us already and provides so little in return.

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This tax increase should be repealed.

Joe Sykora, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: Once again, the apologists for the California Legislature’s ill-considered gas tax hike try to assuage motorists’ anger by pointing to increases in Republican-controlled states. Skelton does not bother even to list what the increases in those other states are.

Tennessee’s is six cents over three years, South Carolina’s is 12 cents over a six-month period, and Indiana’s is 10 cents. California’s instant 12-cent increase will punish the poorer classes who struggle to pay ever mounting state resident costs. Increases in vehicle registration fees, cigarette taxes and local city taxes consistently add to their burden.

And what’s really galling is the likelihood that the money raised will be diverted from highway construction to legislators’ pet projects.

Mike Saint-Just, Rancho Mirage

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To the editor: Perhaps all those states that recently enacted higher gas taxes would not have done so if they had the same income tax rates as we do. California’s top rate is 13.3%.

In contrast, Wisconsin’s top rate is 7.65%, Georgia’s is 6%, Idaho’s is 7.4%, Iowa’s is 8.98%, Kentucky’s is 6%, South Dakota has no income tax, South Carolina’s is 7%, Utah’s is 5%, West Virginia’s is 6.5%, and Tennessee’s is 6%.

Orrin Turbow, Oxnard

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