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Opinion

Opinion: The Democrats’ gas-tax increase shows the danger of single-party dominance in California

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, file photo, gas prices are displayed at a Chevron gas station i
A Chevron gas station in Sacramento, Calif. on Feb. 8, 2016.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: Here is one rare instance where I fully agree with the Republicans in seeking to overturn the gas tax recently enacted by the Democratic-majority Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. (“Republicans are playing politics with the gas tax again. No wonder they have no power in California,” editorial, July 17)

The way the Democrats muscled through this immense and regressive gas tax with virtually no public debate, and punished the two brave Democrats who dared resist their leadership, is emblematic of the hubris and excess that come with having a veto-proof majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Although I normally align myself with the Democrats on major policy issues, I am well aware of their tendency to be as imperious and irresponsible as their Republican colleagues when they are not hampered by the need to compromise.

I hope they soon lose their veto-proof majority for the good of all Californians.

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Martin Zimmerman, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Is it really “playing politics” for the GOP party to want to repeal a 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike on consumers? California already has among the highest gas taxes in the country, in addition to what we pay on top of the baseline cost of fuel because of the state’s blending requirements.

It is stated that with this new tax, we will be able to “finally fix the the state’s roads and bridges ... and build public transportation projects for future traffic relief.” One has to wonder whether the existing gas taxes have been used for the maintenance of our “crumbling infrastructure” or whether they have been spent on other budgetary items.

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Yes, California does have many other problems, and one of them as you say is income equality. Certainly the rise in gas prices will hurt low-income workers, many of whom drive long distances to get to their jobs. But, as you suggest, what’s another $10 a month for a gasoline?

Janet Polak​​​​​​​, Beverly Hills

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