Since the autumn of 2017, prices, taxes, and fees have risen — sometimes sharply — in Orinda (and elsewhere).
On Nov. 1, 2017, the State of California raised taxes on gasoline by 12 cents a gallon. Fees for vehicle registration also went up. The new taxes and fees are designed to raise $52.4 billion for the repair and maintenance of the state’s roads, bridges, and freeways.
In March 2018, the fees Orindans pay for garbage collection went up by 9.8 percent. Garbage bills cover a three-month period. On December 30, 2017, the typical three-month bill was $114.09. By March 30, 2018, that bill went to $125.22.
On Dec. 20, 2007, the typical garbage bill was $66.00. Thus, by March 30, 2018, garbage rates had climbed by 90 percent.
Garbage-collection fees are set by Recycle Smart (www.recyclesmart.org). Serving on the organization’s board of directors are elected officials of the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County and elected officials from four cities: Orinda; Lafayette; Moraga; and Walnut Creek.
Regarding Recycle Smart, Candace Andersen of the county Board of Supervisors represents county supervisorial District 2, which includes Orinda. Representing Orinda on Recycle Smart are Amy Worth and Inga Miller, both of whom are members of the Orinda City Council. Ms. Worth and Ms. Miller are respectively the current mayor and the current vice mayor of Orinda. In Orinda, the positions of mayor and vice mayor rotate among city-council members. Recycle Smart is sometimes called the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority.
In June 2018, Orinda’s voters raised the Orinda library tax, which went from $39 per year to $69, a 77 percent increase.
Gasoline taxes are complex. Almost no one knows the full tax on a gallon of gasoline. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. The state tax is 58.3 cents per gallon. These numbers together produce a grand total of 76.7 cents a gallon.
In California, the state gasoline tax, the Tribune has reported, contains three components. On a per-gallon basis, gasoline has a sales tax of nine cents; an underground storage tank fee of two cents; and an excise tax of 47.3 cents. The three numbers add up to 58.3 cents.
According to the Tribune, California is “ . . . on pace to come within one cent of having the highest gasoline tax burden in the country.” Some people claim that California now has the highest gasoline tax in the nation.
The sources for gasoline taxes are the California State Board of Equalization, the Tax Foundation, and the American Petroleum Institute.
Higher taxes and fees on many items are expected in the future.