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Gas Tax Ballot Measure

October 22, 1994

Re "Prop. 185: Too Ambitious, Too Costly," editorial, Oct. 17:

Your editorial in opposition to Proposition 185 (calling for a 4% sales tax on gasoline, with revenues dedicated to a variety of mandated transportation projects) on the November ballot comes as a surprise, especially in light of your argument. Perhaps you do not fully understand the elements of the proposal.

Proposition 185 would provide a constant source of funding for a serious element of California's economic infrastructure which has had difficulty keeping up with demand. The overbuilding of highways has caused enormous problems that would be at least partially addressed by allowing the problem to help fund the solution. Why be opposed to that?

Funding for earthquake safety of bridges is already partially in place so that this would merely provide needed additional resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. Is selling more bonds a better idea?

Your editorial acknowledges the "ban" on magnetic levitation technology. This is so that billions won't be wasted on a new technology that has never been used before and which has serious problems that are still being solved and will continue to be well into the next century. What is "obsolete" about current, off-the-shelf technology that has proven itself in Japan and Europe?

The projects that have been spelled out in the proposition have for the most part already been adopted but only partially funded, or not funded at all. Rather than selling more bonds, wouldn't it be better to use a new approach to their financing, one that assures we do not go further into debt?

I would urge a "yes" vote on Proposition 185!

ROBERT A. RAMSAY

Arcadia

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