Time to pay by the pound!

The recent end run attempt around new taxes/fees by the California Legislature brings to mind some needs….like the need for upwards of $36 Billion dollars in short falls over the next two years.  The self serving bold Democratic majority thought if they changed words….they could change the law….from Taxes (requiring 2/3 Majority vote) to Fees (requiring a simple majority).  Thank goodness Arnold himself is so far dedicated to VETO the package!

It does leave us some very interesting struggles regarding our budget woes.  The first step seems always to raise the cost of annual California Vehicle License Fees.  Then comes the State Tax Rates – this time they wanted a 2.5 percent “Surcharge”…then…anything else that strikes their fancy.  Well, way back in 60’s….back in the day of Democratic Governor Edwin G. “Pat” Brown and then Republican Governor Ronald “Wilson” Reagan……we used to in a broad brushed way….”Charge by the Pound….for our Vehicle License Fees”.  

The concept was that the heavier the vehicle….the more wear and tear on our roads.  The damage to asphalt and cement roadways differed greatly from a 30,000 lb. Truck versus a 2800 lb. economy vehicle.  Then there was the case for considering vehicles “Commercial Vehicles”.  The ’67 El Camino for example and the Ford Ranchero light pick-ups…which ranged in weight from 3200 to 3800 lbs. were considered not “Passenger Vehicles” and had to be Registered as “Commerical”…which required a much higher annual rate.  The concept was that Ranchers and such had to carry hay bales or fertilizer in the back and would add further roadway wear.  Perhaps as much as 1300 lbs could be added to a light pickup….thereby wearing out our California roadways quicker than a standard 3600 lb. Malibu of the same vintage.

The laws were based on “common sense”.  Full size pick-ups, Station Wagons and Vans all required higher license fees.  Whatever vehicle you wanted was just fine….but if you were going beat up our roads and ask the Highway Dept. (before Caltrans)….to repair every pothole or broken cement lane…..you were going to have to pay the price.  We believe this is our correct course in 2009 and beyond.  Bring back some common sense license fees….that are in fact “fees and not taxes”.

A Lincoln Navigator weighing over 10,000 lbs. for example….should be the poster boy for raised rates.  The Cadillac Escalade at 8700 lbs. is another good target for higher road fees.  Full size RamCharger, Tundras and such are also good examples of why 47 inch rims are not necessary for California roads.  Sure, you can still drive these vehicles….you will just have to pay the price for such conduct.  Let the market work.  Even Arnold can keep his Hummer….because he can afford the highest annual license fee in America, if that was the case!  The Standard Prius weighs 2890 lbs. for example.  Now, not everyone wants a Prius…but it certainly meets what people consider basic transportation.  It can seat four and supposedly gets over 40 MPG.  It doesn’t do gigantic damage to the California Road System either.

So, why haven’t we revisited the 1960’s and taken a look at what intelligent fees and license requirements.  Ever heard of Lobbyists or the Car Companies in general.  Foreign, Domestic……Alien…..who cares….they don’t want “Pay by the Pound” License Fees!  Why?  They want to sell those giant behemoths and make more money!  Instead of asking people with cars 15 years old or older to remove them from the roadways…..we need to start with potentially charging every car and truck that resides or comes into California with a “Pay by the Pound License Fee”.  The scale should rise as quickly as the pounds rise.  Bring in a car or truck or SUV from “out of state” and you should be a CHP target.  Your car should have GPS locater mounted on the vehicle when you come into the state and removed when you leave…unless of course you license that car in California immediately.  Imagine how much the local counties will prosper from….when they are loaded with heavy SUV’s and visiting trucks!

The Sacramento legislature of course will find problems with this concept because the many lunches and lobbyists gifts and junkets are sure to dry up if they adopted this common sense approach.  The time has come to target these greedy lawmakers and demand that they bring back intelligent laws that make sense and penalize only those that want more…..not less.  The infamous Reason Foundation should find this type of legislation important to implement.  We doubt however that they well…..why….because it makes all too much sense!  For the lawmakers that want more fees – “Here you go!”

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.