April 29, 2022

California Legislature Hiking Gas Tax Amidst Record Prices

  • Flyover Country

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
The California legislature failed to suspend a gas tax increase scheduled for July 1st. The state already taxes gas prices more than any other state and also has the highest gas prices. Governor Newsom’s office said that despite the legislature’s failure to suspend the tax hike, Newsom will continue to pursue the direct payments to Californians, similar to the stimulus checks sent out by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Background: 

Although we’ve seen a few states across the country give their citizens a tax break during an unprecedented spike in gas prices, California’s legislature is taking a different approach. Instead of attempting to help Californians deal with record gas prices, lawmakers failed to suspend a 5.6% gas tax hike that is set to go into effect on July 1st.

Last month, Republicans in the legislature proposed a complete pause on the gas tax, but the bill was shot down by Governor Newsom who said it would only help “petro-dictators and oil companies.”

As of Thursday, Californians saw an average price of $5.685 per gallon. 

Instead of stopping the gas tax hike, the governor is still pushing direct payments to Californians. Newsom hopes to send $800 to every Californian for each car they own. Newsom’s office has blamed the rise in gas prices on Russia's invasion into Ukraine.

Notable Quotes: 

“We look forward to working with lawmakers on the Governor’s proposal for direct payments to Californians wrestling with rising prices.” - Alex Stack, spokesperson for Gov. Gavin Newsom

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