California gas tax rises to over 50 cents
California, where the cost of a gallon of gasoline is more than $ 1 above the national average, increased its gasoline tax on Thursday.
The increase is small – six tenths of a cent – but brings the country’s already highest gasoline tax to 51.1 cents.
The average cost of a gallon of gasoline is $ 4.28, compared to $ 3.10 in the United States, according to AAA.
The hike is part of a road repair bill the California legislature passed in 2017 that increases gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees to pay for bridge and road repairs. The tax is increased based on the California Consumer Price Index.
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When the bill came into effect in November 2017, it increased the state’s gasoline tax by 12 cents. Prices increased another 5.6 cents in 2019 and 3.2 cents in 2020.
Along with the tax hike, California faces a historic $ 75 million budget overrun, thanks to a booming Silicon Valley, a thriving stock market, and high taxes on top earners. Meanwhile, California is expected to receive $ 26 billion in federal aid.
The surplus has led Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is fighting a recall election, to offer to send cash payments to middle-class residents.
Republican lawmakers last week called for a suspension of the excise tax on gas, noting the budget surplus.
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“Rather than allowing Governor Newsom to run around the state handing out millions of dollars in free lottery tickets and other cronies, we should instead use the budget surplus to reduce the obscene excise tax on gasoline purchases. said Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee, said.
The California Republican Party also denounced Thursday’s hike.
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“California already has the highest gasoline prices and the highest gasoline tax in the country, but Gavin Newsom and Sacramento Democrats didn’t think it was high enough,” the president said. of California GOP, Jessica Millan Patterson, in a statement. “Despite a budget surplus, Democrats have ignored calls for a gas tax holiday, taking more away from Californians who work hard and just try to make their daily commutes. Newsom’s California is grossly unaffordable because of Democratic policies. We deserve a true leader who doesn’t think the answer to good governance is more taxes.