Gas Tax Bill Collects Dust on Arnold's Desk

Governor refuses to help fund transit

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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Arnold Schwarzenegger says "hasta la vista, baby" to funds for public transportation.

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A bill that would have moved tax money around to help struggling public transit agencies across the state has died a quiet death on the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After years of raiding state funds for local transit budgets in futile efforts to solve the state's budget crisis, agencies like BART, Muni, AC Transit and the VTA have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in state money.

The gas-tax swap bill would have raised taxes on diesel fuel, but lowered excise taxes, and most importantly would have shifted some of that revenue to public transit while remaining cost-neutral for motorists.

And even though the courts have declared that Schwarzenegger's earlier cuts to public transportation funding were illegal, he clearly has it out for strap-hangers.

At least now you know who to blame when you're late for work yet again -- because as service cuts drives people to their cars, there will be less parking, too.

Jackson West isn't really sure how Schwarzenegger thinks the state will reach the AB32 emissions limits he did sign without encouraging mass transit.

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