What developer Darius Assemi forgot in his editorial on how to fund road construction
Darius Assemi is the president of Granville Homes, one of the most prolific residential developers in the Fresno area (one which oddly doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry). According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been president for 6 years, and served as vice president for 25 years before that. The guy knows the Fresno market well, especially when it comes to selling single-family homes.
But how much does he know about funding our infrastructure? Let’s take a look at his Fresno Bee editorial on the subject. Here are his main points:
- Deteriorating roads cost Californians $44 billion a year in repairs, accidents, time and fuel
- Deferred repair costs exceeding $57 billion
- Caused by diminishing purchasing power of gas tax
- Not tied to inflation
- More fuel efficient cars mean less gas taxes
- Raising gas tax
- Indexing gas tax to inflation
- Increasing fees
- New usage based fee
- Caltrans performance should be equal to or exceed private performance
- More efficient staffing
- Increased transparency
Generally, it’s a pretty standard set of recommendations. The only big controversy is the “highway only” line for funding, although it appears he’s more concerned with the previous raid of the transportation fund to plug other budgets rather than eliminating all subsidies of mass transit. It is unclear if he also wants to eliminate that. As a suburban developer, I wouldn’t be surprised if transit didn’t even cross his mind when he penned his piece.