Democratic Assemblyman Joe Nation is proposing an increase of five cents a gallon for five years. The estimated 5 billion dollars a year would fund road improvements, alternative fuel research, and rebates for people who buy cars that use such fuels, says Nation:
“I want to begin the movement away from our dependence on foreign oil and the only way to do that is to develop alternative energy sources – particularly for cars.”
Nation says the tax would mean an extra 41 cents a day for the average Californian; he calls it a bargain. But President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist, says it will just hurt the economy:
“Raising taxes on gasoline just makes it more expensive for people to drive to work and for people to get around. It’s a regressive tax on low and middle income Americans.”
Norquist says investment in alternative fuels should come from the private sector. Nation’s bill has not yet been heard in committee.