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'Wrong Road: No on 74'

May 22, 1988

Your editorial "Wrong Road: No on 74" (May 16) reflects a stunning lack of vision and a "head-in-the-sand" approach to California's transportation needs.

Proposition 74 will permit us to move ahead on over 250 transportation improvement projects in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. Anyone who drives on those freeways regularly can tell you how badly those projects are needed.

Proposition 74 will make $1 billion available for transportation without raising taxes on people or businesses. We intend to pay this bond measure off in five years, resulting in a cost to the state budget of less than 70 cents per month per California resident.

Those who advocate increasing the gasoline tax include The Times, former Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, state Sens. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles). While they can afford to pay such an increase (the state pays for the gasoline for the latter three when they are on state business), many cannot. If The Times and the others wish to pay more taxes, all you have to do is send the state a check and we will accept it.

The gasoline tax is one of the most regressive taxes imposed. Transportation costs for low- and middle-income persons are already a very substantial part of the family budget because costs include car payments, auto insurance, maintenance, repairs, depreciation and fuel. These folks already pay 24 cents in state and federal taxes for every gallon of gasoline they purchase. Maybe The Times and the Democrats want to increase taxes on low-income people who need their cars to get to work, but I don't and I won't.

An improved transportation system means not only continued prosperity but a better quality of life. If Southland residents want to improve their transportation opportunities without raising taxes, then I urge a yes vote on Proposition 74.

GOV. GEORGE DEUKMEJIAN

Sacramento

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