The Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies, dominated by local Republican politicians such as Jerry Amante (“Toll Road Jerry”) of Tustin and Orange County Supervisors Pat Bates and Chris Norby, has announced that tolls on the 73, 241, 261, and 133 toll roads will go up by 25 cents on July 5, and the monthly account maintenance fee for those with FasTrak will double from $1 to $2 per transponder.
But this post isnâ€™t about Orange Countyâ€™s transportation problems or the specific problems of the Countyâ€™s toll road boondoggle.
Itâ€™s about taxes.
Local Republicans have made their political living by claiming to oppose tax increases â€“ any tax increase, for any reason, come hell or high water.
But more and more often, these same Republicans are raising the costs of public services.
Toll increases are one example.
Tuition increases for community colleges and state universities are another.
The rule â€“ or rather the ruse â€“ is that Republicans donâ€™t call these increases in the cost of public services taxes.
They call them tolls, or fees, or tuition increases.
But they are taxes by another name.
And they are all regressive taxes â€“ taxes that disproportionately hit working people and the middle class.
So I ask my Republican readers: What happened to your no tax pledge?