Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

‘Your tax dollars at work’: Are road construction signs that mention gas tax politicking or transparency?




Judy Rees signals drivers into a Mobil gas station near I-5 in Encinitas to get them to sign a petition to repeal the state's new gas tax.
Judy Rees signals drivers into a Mobil gas station near I-5 in Encinitas to get them to sign a petition to repeal the state's new gas tax.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

Listen to story

14:49
Download this story 7.0MB

If you’ve driven past a construction site on the road, you may have seen a sign that says “Your tax dollars at work. Rebuilding California,” which is meant to alert drivers-by that the project was paid for by the gas tax increase.

But considering that a gas tax repeal is on the November ballot, are these signs illegitimately swaying public opinion? That’s the argument being made by Sen. Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) who wants transportation officials to take down the signs, as reported by the L.A. Times. Transportation officials have responded that these signs are nothing new and that they show residents how their tax dollars are being spent.

Do you think these signs are unduly swaying public opinion on a political matter? Or are they a measure of transparency that reflects how tax dollars are being put to work?

Guests:

Raphe Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University Los Angeles

Matt Rocco, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Susan Shelley, vice president of communications at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), a California nonprofit policy organization that advocates against tax increases