Rep. Michelle Steel joined Reps. Jay Obernolte (CA-08), David Valadao (CA-21) and members of the California Congressional Delegation to renew their call to Governor Gavin Newsom to suspend the state’s gas tax, which is currently scheduled to increase by 3 cents on July 1. Their official request to the Governor also urged support for a repeal of the state’s indexing of the gas tax to inflation, considering inflation rates are continuing to rise at the highest rate in 40 years.
“When we requested a full repeal of California’s gasoline tax in March of this year, Californians were paying $4.80 per gallon of gasoline. Today that price has ballooned to $6.43 per gallon, a 34 percent increase in only three months. A full repeal of the state gas tax in March could have saved Californians $17 million per day and $1.5 billion to date. But instead they were forced to pay an additional fifty-one cents per gallon as a result of California’s gasoline tax, the highest in the nation,” wrote the lawmakers.
“We strongly urge you to heed President Biden’s request and work with the Legislature to suspend our state’s gasoline tax. Furthermore, we ask that you support a repeal of our state’s policy of indexing the gas tax to inflation. Amidst historic uncertainty in global energy markets and California’s unique vulnerability to supply shocks, California families deserve tax relief that reflects the severity of the economic realities they face.”
Californians currently pay the highest gas prices nationwide thanks in part to the state’s highest-in-the-country gas tax, even as California is set to collect nearly $100 billion more from taxpayers this year than it needs to support expenditures. Combined with the almost $30 billion in federal infrastructure funds the state received from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress, the State of California has enough revenue for an unconditional suspension of the gas tax for the next 20 years without the reduction of a single penny in infrastructure spending.
Members of Congress joining Reps. Steel, Obernolte, and Valadao on the official request to Governor Newsom were Reps. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Doug LaMalfa (CA-1), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Young Kim (CA-39), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Connie Conway (CA-22) and Tom McClintock (CA-04).
Read the full letter here.