Starting July 1, 2021, California drivers will pay more at the pump when another hike in the state gas tax takes effects. At a time when the state is experiencing a historic surplus and highest in the nation gas prices, Senate Republicans proposed a Holiday Gas Tax for the fiscal year which would give taxpayers a break by using the massive budget surplus to pay for infrastructure projects usually funded by the gas tax.
During floor session this morning, Republican Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) presented amendments to Assembly Bill 149 and formally requested the suspension of the excise gas tax for the fiscal year. Senate Democrats denied the proposal on a party-line vote.
“Unfortunately, the majority party rejected my call to suspend the gas tax burdening families with a 51.1 cent increase in gas prices starting today,” said Senator Ochoa Bogh. “As we move towards an economic recovery, this is the time Californians could use more money in their pocketbooks. With tens of billions in extra revenue, helping struggling families save at the pump should have been a priority.”
Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) said, “Unlike the price of gas, talk is cheap in Sacramento. Democrats like to claim they help everyday Californians, but completely failed to act on a proposal that would have actually put money back in the pockets of struggling Californians. We have the highest gas prices in the nation and some of the longest commutes. This would have made a tremendous difference for a lot of people.”
Background on Senate Bill 1:
In 2017, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the car and gas tax, was passed by the majority party and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. SB 1 is a $5.2 billion a year tax increase without a sunset date. Since the passage of SB 1, motorists have experienced gas tax increases in 2017, 2019, and now July 1, 2021. In addition, motorists experienced a jump in car registration fees by $25 to $175 per vehicle. California currently has the highest gas prices in the nation according to GasBuddy.com.