Someday soon, perhaps as early as next year, the freeways may no longer be free.
The Highway Trust Fund provides money to states for interstate maintenance
and improvement. The gasoline tax is the Fund's primary revenue source,
but the tax hasn't been increased in over twenty years. Flat revenues,
along with a declining demand due to more fuel-efficient cars and high
pump prices, mean that the Fund is nearly exhausted at a time when many
highways need work. As part of the Grow America Plan, the Obama administration
converting free roads to toll roads in order to raise needed funds.
Supporters say that the proposal is a reasonable user fee, while opponents
counter that the measure is essentially a backdoor tax increase.
Bakersfield drivers are certainly used to backdoor taxes and user fees
on public roads. A cash-strapped Sacramento has increased traffic ticket
costs almost exponentially in the past twenty years, some by as much as
Instead of giving your extra money to the state, consider working with
an attorney practicing in Tulare County to reduce the fines and/or points
against your license. You'll do much better in the long term.