Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2021 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

Business Review Board / April 10, 2017

High Gas Taxes Drive Out Growth

California’s latest taxpayer siphon has lessons for Tennessee, which is considering making the same mistake.

At some point, the West Coast will experience an epiphany. Or will it? In one blue state, yet another tax increase — not to mention an unprecedented one — is taking root. And considering we’re talking about California here, that’s saying a lot. Investor’s Business Daily reports, “The state’s already highest-in-the-nation gasoline tax will rise 19.5 cents a gallon, while diesel will go up 20 cents. Meanwhile, car owners will also see their registration fees rise from $25 to $175, depending on vehicle value. Electric car owners get hit with a special $100 tax, since they don’t use gasoline. All told, the new taxes are expected to collect $5.2 billion a year.”

There’s simply no excuse for this. California’s newest $5 billion taxpayer siphon could easily have been negated had the state tried to retain the one million residents who have packed up and left since 2004, not to mention the 10,000 businesses that have bolted or restricted commerce since 2008. That exodus hits the economy hard, yet over the last seven years state spending is up 53% under the misleadership of Gov. Jerry Brown. And as IBD notes, the problem isn’t being handled. Billions of dollars in previous tax increases that should be going toward taming the infrastructure bugaboo are going elsewhere instead. This one appears to be a ruse as well. And Reason’s Steven Greenhut pinpoints why: “Californians should see it as a pension tax, given the extra money plugs a hole caused by growing retirement payments to public employees.”

There may not be much hope for California, which continues to disappoint with its doubling down on failed policies. But it should be a wake-up call for red states like Tennessee. Despite enjoying a conservative supermajority in the legislature, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, under the guise of infrastructure repairs, surprisingly wants to hike his state’s gas tax even though Tennessee has a multi-billion dollar budget surplus. (You can read over the details here.) Unlike California, Haslam’s proposal may be paved with good intentions. But that doesn’t mean he’s not risking a road hazard. Tennessee (home to our humble shop) is ranked among the nation’s most business-friendly states. And that happened because conservatives created a low-tax environment. It would be a real shame to threaten reversing this trend.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.