Lawmakers in California are poised to raise the state’s tax on gasoline beginning May 1st despite record-high prices at the pump.
From Fox News:
Newsom, a Democrat, had previously expressed support for helping California motorists experiencing pain at the pump by waiting to implement a 5.6% tax hike scheduled to take effect on July 1. The tax is used to fund roads and other infrastructure projects; the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office projected the tax will generate about $8.8 billion in revenue during the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“It is clear now that the Legislature will not act in time to provide that immediate, limited relief, but we look forward to working with lawmakers on the Governor’s proposal for direct payments to Californians wrestling with rising prices,” Newsom’s spokesperson Alex Stack said in a statement.
Prices for a regular gallon of gas hit $4.13 on Wednesday, according to AAA, up from $2.88 one year ago. But California – as is usually the case – has seen the steepest prices in the country, with a gallon of gas reaching $5.68. In some parts of the state, prices are even higher: Mono County has recorded an average price of $6.61 per gallon.
California already has the nation’s highest gas tax at 51 cents per gallon. The levy will rise to 53.9 cents per gallon at the beginning of July. Still, an analysis from LAO found it would only save drivers about 3 cents per gallon.
Newsom’s office has also floated the possibility of a rebate that could go toward residents with cars registered in California.