Letter to Editor
The public’s assessment of transportation - Our regional transportation agency MTC poll (3% accuracy) indicated the most important issues including transportation, surprisingly, was not “Transportation and Congestion."
It came out several places below “Spending Public Funds Wisely” and “Improving Education”. Present Gasoline Sales Tax goes into the general fund and is spent for Education, Health, Transportation, …etc.
So, these funds are being spent wisely in keeping with people’s concern rather than only for transportation at the expense of other important issues.
Regional Transportation Agencies e.g. MTC realize there is little they can do with highways to relieve congestion so, they are shifting funds to transit and other alternatives in their Plans, some over 65%. However Proposition 42 permanently allocates Gasoline Sales Tax for, roads 80% and transit 20%. To increase 20% for transit and alternatives will require another referendum or 2/3 of State Legislators.
Gas Tax rather than its Sales Tax should provide transportation funding. In today’s dollars, Gas Tax is taking in less today than 30 years ago.
Transportation funding should be increased in keeping with consumer price index. Other developed countries charge at least $3 per gallon for gasoline. This $3 includes $2 in Gas Tax, which keeps their highways in good condition as well as providing decent alternatives.
With the State’s current $12 Billion deficit, let us not siphon off general fund monies into a special transportation fund allocating only 20% for transit permanently at the expense of other important categories.
Vote No on Proposition 42
Roy Nakadegawa PE
BART Director, District 3
Berkeley, CA, 94707