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Column: California gas tax will rise again. You must be happy



Column: California gas tax will rise again. You must be happy

California gas taxes go up again next week – and that’s actually a good thing. But I know this won’t suit many people.

First, the facts.

The state gas tax is set to rise 3.2 cents on July 1 to 50.5 cents per gallon. This is because SB 1, which was passed in 2017, automatically raises the gas tax in line with the increase in the consumer price index.

That is why the gas tax – which is one of the highest in the country – jumped by 12 cents per gallon in 2017 and by 5.6 cents last year.

California at the moment rank near the bottom from all states in terms of highway investment, which means our roads and bridges are in very bad condition.

The gas tax is projected to generate around $ 7 billion this fiscal year to pay for much-needed repairs.

Separate road repair costs debut next week for electric cars with 2020 or newer models.

“If we don’t do something, the situation will get worse,” said Asha Weinstein Agrawal, a professor of urban and regional planning in San Jose State.

“Think of it as maintaining your house,” he told me. “If you don’t do routine work when you need it, you will immediately see a big improvement.”

That’s where we are now. After years of neglecting our transportation infrastructure, California now faces enormous bills only to pursue and restore our path to conditions that should have existed for a long time.

I know, I know. How can anyone talk about driving up costs when the economy is busy and millions of people out of work? Isn’t this a self-defeating step?

That’s a fair question.

“Do you really want to suppress behaviors that can help the economy amid a pandemic and recession?” asked Rob Peroni, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin who focuses on tax issues.

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“This is a complex thought for many people,” he told me. “They want a lower price and they want it now.”

That said, Peroni and other experts admit that there was never a right time to raise taxes. When times are tough, higher taxes can make them harder. When times are good, people think they deserve a reduction in the form of tax cuts.

The COVID-19 pandemic, in fact, might be the perfect opportunity to raise the gas tax.

“Driving is very far, so in theory this is the right time to pursue road investment,” said Ronald Fisher, professor of economics at Michigan State University.

Although less driving for a while means less revenue from gas taxes, it also means less disruption from road works.

Fisher also pointed out that the state usually contracts private companies to carry out such infrastructure improvements, which means that revenues from higher gas taxes can actually serve as a stimulus for the California economy in the form of job creation.

“No one wants to pay for these items,” he said. “But let’s face it, you can’t have something for nothing.”

There are two big elephants in the room. One is the problem, familiar to all Los Angeles residents, that there are several alternatives for driving around.

Unlike San Francisco or New York, it is too difficult to navigate large parts of Southland via public transportation. Options are limited, and transit times can be two to three times longer than traveling by car.

Another problem is that gas taxes are regressive, which means they have a disproportionate impact on low-income people who may have no choice but to drive to and from work every day.

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LA. Metro is working on building our subway and train systems, but we are still decades from a transit system that is getting closer to meeting the needs of this vast and diverse region.

The work must be continued and, if possible, accelerated. Expo Line has not met the expectations of many racers. The long-awaited Crenshaw Line will not operate until next year – two years later than originally promised.

The regressive nature of gas taxes can be more quickly handled in the form of tax credits that ease the financial burden on low-income households. This seems like a reasonable solution to a problem that represents an unfair burden on many working families.

In many ways, gas taxes are like cigarette taxes. Increased income can be applied to what economists call “negative externalities”, or unintended consequences.

Cigarette taxes generate part of the funds to address higher health care costs due to tobacco use.

They also function to deter behavior that the public considers undesirable. In the simplest terms, the more something costs, the less likely people will buy it.

The gas tax is mainly intended to improve roads and bridges. But this has the added benefit of preventing the use of fossil fuels at a time when the planet needs to be more serious in dealing with climate change.

“This encourages people to move in other ways besides burning fuel,” said Brian Taylor, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA.

“In a sense,” he said, “the gas tax must get itself out of business” by finally eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.

Is there a better way to deal with this problem than raising gas prices regularly? Yes, here.

Many economists say cash to maintain transportation infrastructure can be far more effectively raised through so-called mileage costs than gas taxes.

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Think of it like your meter utility costs. The more power or water you use, the higher your monthly bill. The same thought would make sense to use the highway – the people who drive the most have to pay more.

The problem is, the only feasible way to apply mileage fees is to equip all vehicles with tracking devices, and that creates a clear privacy problem.

Personally, I have no problem electronically tracking my driving if it can reduce my fuel and insurance costs. But I understand why many people are wary of such technology and how it can be misused.

So that basically makes us with gas taxes less efficient to pay for road maintenance.

Severin Borenstein, a professor of business administration and public policy at UC Berkeley and one of the most respected energy experts in the state, noted that the average Californian represented the use of about one gallon of gas a day before the pandemic, including consumption by businesses we serve

“So this tax increase will burden an ordinary family of four 13 cents per day or $ 4 per month,” he said. “It’s nothing, but compared to all the other living expenses in California, that’s not much.”

In addition, “just saying that taxes are bad doesn’t make sense when they are what allows us to build infrastructure to support the economy,” Borenstein said.

Look, I understand. Nobody likes higher taxes. Then again, no one likes having to make a big car repair after slamming into a hole.

According to AAA, average cost from a hole-related trip to the mechanic spends $ 306, but in some cases can reach $ 1,000.

Suddenly an extra 3.2 cents a gallon doesn’t seem too much, does it?

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Portuguese health minister rejects conflict of interest over marriage to president



The health minister said there was no conflict of interest in her marriage to the current chairman of the Order of Dietitians, saying that the trusteeship of that body had been delegated to the Secretary of State for Health Promotion.

Portugal Digital with Lusa

“Honestly, I don’t think it exists. I have no doubt that this Lady Secretary of State will fill this leadership role,” Manuel Pizarro said on Monday (age 26) on the sidelines of the Pharmacist’s Day celebrations in Sintra, in the Lisbon area.

Aware of the possible conflict of interest, Manuel Pizarro explained that he took “the most appropriate measure (…)”, which was to entrust the functions of guardianship of the Order of Nutritionists to Margarida Tavares.”

“(…) Since I took office as a minister, I have been aware that, since professional organizations have an administrative oversight role, (…) there is a risk of conflict of interest, and I have taken the measures that seem to me the most appropriate, which from the very decided at the outset that he would delegate this oversight function over the Order of Nutritionists to the Secretary of State for Health Promotion,” he stressed.

When asked about the reasons why Margarida Tavares’ name still does not appear in the Diário da República, the official said that “it was necessary to wait for the inauguration of the secretaries of state” and then “to organize the whole process of delegation of authority.” .

“It’s even a good chance that there is a Secretary of State for Health Promotion. I think custody of the Order of Dietitians has been well handed over to the Secretary of State for Health Promotion,” he repeated, noting that “he definitely won’t go through the Minister’s order.” [da Saúde]”.

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“If the secretary of state is responsible for this, it should not go through the minister,” he stressed.

Manuel Pizarro’s statements came after news that the government official may have a conflict of interest because he is married to the chairman of the Order of Dietitians, Alexandra Bento.

The Order of Dietitians was created in 2011 with the approval of the current Minister of Health, who at the time served as Secretary of State for Health.

In addition, Alexandra Bento was the only President of the Order of Occupational Health to attend the inauguration of Manuel Pizarro on 10 September.

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Portuguese newspaper criticizes CR7: “Less Ronaldo, more Portugal” | international football



Portuguese newspaper criticizes CR7: "Less Ronaldo, more Portugal" |  international football

The cover of one of the most important sports newspapers in Portugal this Monday drew a critical tone against the greatest player in the history of the country.

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On the eve of the day when the Portuguese national team will play with Spain and draw for reaching the semi-finals of the League of Nations, the daily newspaper “A Bola” printed a photo Cristiano Ronaldo stating that the player had lost influence in the team commanded by Fernando Santos.

“Less Ronaldo, more Portugal,” reads the headline.

The publication reports that the 37-year-old striker could start on the bench and lists some of the positives of his possible absence, such as the buffing of protagonist Bruno Fernandes. See below:

This Tuesday’s cover of A Bola is being printed by Cristiano Ronaldo – Photo: Reproduction

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Cristiano Ronaldo started and assisted in a 4–0 thrashing of the Czech Republic on the last round. He has only scored twice in his last eight caps, both against Switzerland.

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For Manchester United in the 2022/23 season, he started in three of the eight games played. In the last of them, against Sheriff from Moldova, in the Europa League, he scored for the first time.

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September, Holiday Month for the Deaf – Portuguese (Brazil)



Mutirão Opens To Negotiation Of Individuals' Overdue Debts - Português (Brazil)

September is a very important and visible month for deaf people, with three dates that raise awareness and celebrate achievements that are part of the entire community’s trajectory and struggle. These are: – International Sign Language Day, September 23; – Day of the Deaf, 26 September; and Libra National Interpreter and Translator Day on September 30th. With a focus on the deaf community, the Department of Education is promoting several initiatives in this area.

The first is aimed at changing the scenario of educational and language policy based only on the inclusive perspective of including a deaf student in the school environment without guaranteeing procedures that enhance accessibility in his education. The National Guidelines for Bilingual Education for the Deaf integrate all stages of basic education and are based on the promotion of bilingual curricula and pedagogical practices for the deaf: Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) and written Portuguese.

Through the Department of Special Education, the MEC coordinates with interested municipalities the construction, renovation or expansion of bilingual schools for the deaf. To date, 11 locations in Brazil have shown interest in the project. To complement this phase, the Libras National Textbook Program (PNLD) provides accessible formats to deaf students and public school teachers of basic education in the country.

In the academic world, in partnership with universities, advanced training courses are offered for teachers, managers and professionals who want to work with bilingual education for the deaf. Thanks to the projects of various institutions, there are currently 3,520 vacancies for teaching the deaf.

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On the Internet, Canal Libras is a space for communication and content distribution with a focus on the national educational network, from early childhood education to higher education.


Another important date: The National Institute for Education for the Deaf (Ines) turns 165 on the same Libra and the Deaf Day, September 26th. Within the structure of the Ministry of Education, the Institute stands out as a national reference in the field of deafness, necessary to support the formulation of public policies, and then for their implementation in the field. The Institute works to promote education for deaf children, youth and adults.

With information from Ministry of Education.

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