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Gas, vehicle registration taxes will burn

You know it must be Halloween when you’re driving home and in your rearview mirror you see “The Cat-in-the-Hat,” driving the car behind you. By the way, has anyone ever figured out where Waldo is? I thought I saw him three or four times on Tuesday.

The ghosts and goblins have come and gone. In my neighborhood, they were all but done trick-or-treating by 8 p.m. In the spirit of full disclosure I do live in a subdivision with a wall and gate. All the little kids who came to our door were accompanied by adults.

Growing up, we lived on Martin Street between North D Street and Road 26. In the 1960s, where we lived was considered “way out,” in the country. Today two schools, Desmond and Nishimoto, are on Martin Street with land for a new high school just down the road.

Then the houses were on five acre parcels or larger. We had about five families living on our block. Not great hunting grounds for trick-or-treating. Our closest neighbors, Art and Barbara Olivas, were always glad to see my costumes and she made great cookies and popcorn balls. Barbara often served as my babysitter. I loved them a lot.

On Halloween, my parents would drive me into town and visit with Dick and Mary Dal Cerro while their son and I trick-or-treated his neighborhood. When we were 8 or 9, years old they lived near Washington School. Jeff and I would go house to house from North Lake Street to Dellavalle and Cleveland avenues back to their house on South Street, all alone. Our parents believed in safety in numbers.

Jeff’s Italian grandmother, Noni, had really long hair that she usually wore up in a chignon. On Halloween night she would let her hair down and pass out candy through the window of their den. She really looked like a fairy tale witch and had a great cackle. Those are great childhood memories.


One trick that came right on the heels of Halloween is the new California tax on vehicle registration and gasoline. I find it a bit chilling that the tax goes into effect on “Dia de las Muertos,” the “Day of the Dead.”

The last time the highly volatile tax ad fees were increased was in 2002 when the Democrats increased the vehicle registration fee increase from $46 to $158. That resulted in 9.4 million voters recalling Democrat Governor Gray Davis, just 11 months after he was reelected making him the second state governor recalled in the history of America.

Since Gov. Moonbeam’s administration will end next year and California has term limits, there isn’t time to launch a recall election.

According to Breitbart News, “Gov. Jerry Brown took a huge risk for the entire California Democrat Party by signing into law the state’s largest registration and gasoline tax increase in history.”

I can only surmise that the recall campaign against Gray Davis was led by a group, of ticked-off Republicans. Not only did the voters fire Gray Davis they replaced him with Republican celebrity and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the time Schwarzenegger was married into the oh-so Democratic Kennedy clan. The tabloids called him “Conan the Republican,” a takeoff on one of his more famous movie roles, “Conan the Barbarian.”

While I have always been a registered Democrat, I am hoping the Republicans get involved and kill this supposed transportation tax? If we are stuck with the tax the revenue generated should be used to benefit our failing highway system, but it won’t. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the City of San Jose plans to use its $39 million a year share of the funds to repair residential surface streets. But I doubt it will be the streets in low-income neighborhoods.

While the money isn’t earmarked yet to fund high-speed rail, with the right ballot measure that could change. This money will just be frittered away like so much of our tax dollars. This tax will hit those with low and fixed incomes the hardest. We little people have no one to protect us.

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