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CA Republican senators demands ‘gas tax holiday’ for one year as prices skyrocket at the pump

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California Republicans are calling for a year-long “gas tax holiday” as the price per gallon is set to increase once again on July 1. They want to use the state surplus to plug the gap and give relief to drivers and business owners.

Governor Gavin Newsom has not said anything about the skyrocketing cost of fuel in his state, which leads the nation. As he does nothing to alleviate the pain at the pump for Californians, state lawmakers are attempting to force relief from the crushing cost per gallon and the monstrous taxation that is a huge part of that price.

A letter sent on Wednesday to Newsom and Democratic leaders in the state legislature from Senate Republicans requests “a gas tax holiday, [or] more specifically, a full moratorium on California’s gasoline excise tax collection… for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year.”

The lawmakers, led by Senate Minority Leader Scott Wilk, propose that California use the state’s general fund that currently has a $75 billion surplus to make up the difference. They contend that the per gallon tax increase punishes residents at a time when they are still reeling from the pandemic and now rising inflation.

(Video Credit: CBS Sacramento)

The senators state in the letter: “On July 1, California’s excise tax on a gallon of gasoline will rise to 51.1 cents. At a time when the state budget is enjoying historic surpluses, Californians deserve a tax break, not higher taxes. The average family of four pays as much as $800 in gas taxes a year and this increase is going to cost California drivers an additional $83 million in the next year alone. Gas costs account for 14% of expenditures in the agricultural sector, and raising the gas tax would inherently raise the price of food, further resulting in not just a higher tax at the pump, but also increased costs at the checkout line.”

So, not only is the cost of food going up due to inflation, but the cost of gas is adding to that misery and potentially to people going hungry in California. The Golden State has the highest gas prices and taxes in the nation and under Newsom, it just keeps getting worse. A regular gallon of gas is now averaging $4.25. That’s more than $1.15 above the national average, according to AAA.

The letter goes on to highlight the impact to the state’s lower and middle-income residents:

“While [California’s] legislature is currently deliberating whether to expand the Golden State Stimulus payments to more Californians, it is important to understand that any action intended to provide financial relief to Californians is undermined by the accompanying rise in gasoline excise taxes. The adverse impacts of high gas prices and taxes that we know disproportionately impacts our low to middle-income residents not only affects drivers, it increases the cost of living, including business costs and food prices, hampering our relief efforts and economic recovery.”

 

The moratorium, although desperately needed, is unlikely to pass as approval hinges on Democrats joining with Republicans to get it through. They are almost always in lockstep with Newsom. Despite Newsom’s progressive programs to hand out free money in California and his claims that the state is “roaring” back, many don’t feel that way. Especially when they fill up their tank.

The July 1 gas hike will add another 0.6 cents to the already existing state tax for a total of 51.1 cents per gallon. The increase in the gas tax is tied to SB1, which was passed in 2017 to help pay for road repairs.

Since its passage, the California gas tax has increased by approximately 21 cents. An effort to repeal the tax failed in 2018.

Californians are outraged over the price of a gallon of gasoline:

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