Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – October 6, 2018 –
After having spent numerous hours on the road over the past couple of
months, I have come to the conclusion that Supervisor Cowan is clearly
not acquainted with the sheer cost saving that come from not paying for
gasoline in California. While I understand that not all of the savings
can be attributed to the recent imposition of 12 cents per gallon, nor
the spring time addition of slightly over $100.00 for each of my vehicle
licensing fees and $47.00 for a third vehicle, it has certainly become a
matter for concern. It was recently most disheartening to fill up in
Grants Pass at $3.07 per gallon, only to be greeted by the sign at Joe’s
Chevron showing gas to be $4.01 per gallon in Crescent City. Kind of
makes going to Brookings to fill up and shop almost a done deal for most
of us in the County.
I am thinking that Supervisors Cowan, Hemmingsen and Howard must not be
too awfully inconvenienced by the increase and for some reason still
think that the State will magically turn over a new leaf and notice us
up here in the far North. I, for one, have not been overwhelmed by the
promises of our State Senator, State Assemblyman, nor the local
transportation representative when they talk about local projects being
funded by Proposition One. Somehow, bike lanes, traffic circles, and the
mysterious project where Highway 101 and Elk Valley Crossroads come
together, just doesn’t do it for me.
Leaving all that aside, and dismissing the great leap of faith one must
have that the State will ever do anything about Last Chance Grade other
than maintain the existing right of way, what really hits home the
hardest is that it wasn’t all that long ago that another proposition was
passed by California’s voters claiming to be for the express purpose of
fixing California’s roads. So what happened to that money? It most
certainly didn’t find its way to fix many roads in Del Norte County, nor
in the rest of California for that matter. Seems the State had a more
urgent use for that money, like balancing the State’s bloated budget.
Now I understand that politicians make all kinds of promises that are
not kept, but I have a great deal of difficulty paying twice for the
same thing and likely will not end up with much of anything after giving
the State yet again Billions of dollars for nothing, thank you very
much. While the repeal of the gas tax through a “YES” vote on
Proposition 6 will likely not fix any roads in Del Norte County, it will
save most of the citizens of Del Norte County a substantial bit of money
over a years time, and may encourage a few less trips to Brookings. It
may even result in more money in the local economy rather than sending
it to Sacramento hoping for them to pay for a big ticket item on Hwy 101.
I hear the argument that we get more back in highway funds than the
additional tax generates and is sent to Sacramento, but it is also
possible that the already great disparity of gasoline tax between
California and Oregon might just be the bigger elephant in the room?
Perhaps, since Sacramento really isn’t all that kind to us here in the
North, it is time for us to return the favor and vote to repeal the gas tax.
Vote “YES” on Proposition 6 this November.