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What about the gas tax?

Business Bitz


September 29, 2018

Jay Thompson

Recently, I hosted a small business roundtable at my office in Bakersfield for Kern County Entrepreneurs. One thing is certain, and the consensus was clear, taxes are taking too much time and money away from business operations and these owners would much rather be investing those dollars in their businesses.

One entrepreneur said, "If I can pay less taxes I can expand and grow my business. This will allow me to create more jobs!"

Another said, "Trying to figure out how to pay all of these taxes is a real pain. The complexity requires me to hire an accountant to make sure I don't miss anything. This is an added expense that I don't need. I tried to do it myself, but I can't keep up!"

Last December, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. This legislation gave welcome relief to millions of entrepreneurs across America. One of the main points is the ability for them to deduct 20 percent of the tax liability from their business income as well as the tax rates being lowered overall.

It's been several months since the bill has taken effect and the results are very positive. Many small business owners are making investments in their businesses purchasing new equipment and hiring new employees. Many of my clients have purchased new vehicles and equipment. Some that thought they would never be able to own their own buildings are buying one now.

Our local economy is raging and everyone is making money. Nationally, unemployment is at a historic low, and it's the first time that I can remember that the number of jobs available is equal to the number of job seekers. This means that there is a job for anyone who wants one. Our local unemployment rate has improved as well. With the big news of Amazon and L'Oreal coming to town, our unemployment figures will soon look even better.

That's the good news, the bad news is, especially for Californians, the attack on your wallet continues. But you can fight back! This November you have an opportunity to repeal the gas tax that started earlier this year.

There are a couple of reasons you should vote yes on Proposition 6 to repeal the tax:

1. It costs too much – the tax hike can cost a family of four more than $770 per year.

2. It won't fix the roads.

This tax was initially passed under the premise that our roads would be fixed yet the majority of funds are being diverted into the general fund to cover budget deficits. We all want good roads, but this tax has proven not to be the answer. At a recent public meeting in Bakersfield, Assemblyman Vince Fong shared his solution to fix the roads using existing funds without the added burden of a gas tax. This plan is a better way to solve the problem without increasing the financial burden on us all.

The gas tax if left unchecked will keep increasing until it reaches about $2 per gallon by 2021. That means a fill-up can cost about $40 more.

There is a better way to fix our roads without increasing the burden on small businesses and families. Let's do the right thing and vote yes on 6 on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Jay Thompson is a Business Consultant with the CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Center. The CSUB SBDC provides premium, one on one, no cost consulting to small business owners in Kern, Inyo and Mono Counties. For more information visit their website at


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