The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Raises Taxes on Driving

Apr 24, 2017

California politicians have passed increases in gas and vehicle taxes. The bill increases the tax on gas by 12 cents per gallon as of November 1, bringing it to 30 cents. On top of that, Californians will pay a new vehicle license fee, ranging between 25 and 175 dollars based on the value of the vehicle, starting January 1.

The politicians say the tax increases are necessary to fix the state’s crumbling roads, highways and bridges. No one would dispute the urgency. Potholes, small and large, have been plaguing California motorists for a long time–just two months ago, for example, a 20-foot-deep sinkhole in Los Angeles swallowed two cars. And hundreds of aging bridges are at risk, as engineers have been pointing out for years.

Taxes on gas and cars, however, are regressive taxes. By charging everyone at the same rate, they put a disproportionately heavy burden on people with limited incomes–the working class, that is.