The debates over repealing the gas tax and the floundering bullet train have a significant intersection. As the Times reports, state representatives have recently suggested that some funds from the new gas taxes may eventually need to go into funding the rail project. None of these proposals are sitting well with the groups who feel that they’ve been overly taxed already with little to show for it. The total cost of the high-speed rail project had already doubled yet again from the 2013 projection of $33B to $77B. The completion date has already been stretched out to 2033 and nobody knows how high the total cost could go by then.
At the same time, the state needs an estimated $177B over the next ten years to try to bring their roads and bridges up to some reasonable measure of safety and repair. California’s state government currently has no idea where that money is going to come from unless they go back to the well yet again and raise taxes even more. This appears to be prompting some fiscal sanity among a growing number of residents who are pushing back against their liberal stronghold leadership.
To say nothing of California’s public pension crisis.
The essence of California’s pension crisis was on display last week when the California Public Employees Retirement System made a relatively small change in its amortization policy.
The CalPERS board voted to change the period for recouping future investment losses from 30 years to 20 years.
The bottom line is that it will require the state government and thousands of local government agencies and school districts to ramp up their mandatory contributions to the huge trust fund.