Chamber CEO calls tax, vehicle increases “economic war” against state’s inland regions

Chamber CEO calls tax, vehicle increases “economic war” against state’s inland regions

The head of Bakersfield’s Chamber of Commerce says the recent approval of a huge increase in the state’s gas taxes and vehicle licensing fees is another example of economic warfare against inland areas of California.

Nick Ortiz, president and CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, was a guest on “The Richard Beene Show” on Monday when he made those comments about the state of business in California.

“What we are doing is setting ourselves up as having the highest gas taxes, basically declaring war on the inland areas, said Ortiz, adding that the inland areas are reliant on diesel trucks to move products and farm. “The wider impact of this is going to be felt beyond Kern County. It’s going to be felt in every Whole Foods in San Francisco and Los Angeles, because the price of produce is going to go up.”

Ortiz, along with other economic and political leaders from Kern County, has been an outspoken critic against the increases, and he praised those leaders for standing against the legislature’s approval of the plan.

“I really want to commend our legislative delegation,” Ortiz said. “I really want to say that they stood strong in the face of billions of dollars in pork being handed out for a couple of votes. They recognized that Kern County families are hurting. They can’t afford $25 to $100 to just register your car, depending on what it’s worth, and then 12 cents for an ever growing gas tax.”

Listen below to the full interview between Ortiz and Richard Beene:

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