The state gas tax increase goes into effect July 1
Fireworks are exploding in some corners of the state as a new gas tax hike goes into effect on July 1st.
Californians already pay the highest gas taxes in the country. This increase increases the existing state tax by an additional 0.6 cents to a total of 51.1 cents per gallon. That’s 21 cents more than the Californians paid four years ago.
Not only are California state gas taxes the highest in the country, but the state’s average price per gallon is also the highest:
State Senator Andreas Borgeas, R, CA District 8, is calling on people to register their opposition to the gas tax hike online and even provide a website link for a form to do so.
“This increase is expected to cost CA drivers $ 83 million next year alone,” Borgeas wrote in a tweet. “The gas tax should be suspended immediately.”
In the spring of 2017, legislators in Sacramento passed the Road Repair and Accountability Act, or SB1 for short. The law was intended to address a lack of funds for the state’s transport infrastructure. Instead, some argue that it became a huge slush fund for Democrats and their favorite projects.
An annual inflation adjustment was part of the transportation tax package passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2017. The law known as SB 1 increased the cost of gas per gallon by 12 cents on November 1, 2017, and then an additional 5.6 cents on July 1, 2019 and 3.2 cents more on July 1. The next upward adjustment will bring the California excise tax on gas to 51.1 cents per gallon. SB 1 also raised taxes on diesel fuel and increased the cost of registering a vehicle.
State taxes and fees increase the price of a gallon of gasoline by 63.05 cents, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Including federal taxes, Californians pay 81.45 cents per gallon in state-imposed fees. It’s even higher for diesel fuel, with total state taxes and fees of 83.06 cents per gallon, 107.46 cents when federal taxes are added.
Californians pay a lot of taxes. How much is spent on road repairs and maintenance?
According to a November Reason Foundation study, 28.5% of California’s urban roads are in poor condition, the third worst ranking in the country. At the national level, on average, only 12.06% of the road surface is rated “bad”.
That’s based on road condition data collected in 2018 when California had a massive backlog of deferred maintenance. The state’s long habit of levying fuel taxes but failing to keep promised road maintenance has helped fuel distrust of the government. During a campaign to lift the gas tax hike in 2018, Caltrans showed voters a website with a list of projects and promised that those projects would be completed.
Now Caltrans says it doesn’t have enough money to complete all of the projects that have been promised across the state. In a report to the California Transportation Commission, Caltrans said, “The funds available will meet approximately 45% of the total identified needs.”
The Reason Foundation report notes that the national average cost of road maintenance in 2018 was $ 15,952 per mile, but California was due to labor laws, which require the highest wages in the region, and also because of the generally high costs in the region State pays about twice as much. California taxpayers pay the highest possible price for anything the government builds or maintains.
While a 0.6 cent hike may not seem exorbitant, the latest hike comes after consecutive years of hikes and just two weeks after the state exited its 453-day lockdown ordered by none other than Governor Newsom.
Republicans argue that the lockdown and other government challenges have shaken California’s small businesses, workers, and the economy:
Gwendolyn Sims, a freelance worker at PJMedia, writes, “Common sense says that now, while the state is still teetering on lockdowns and other challenges, increasing the cost of goods and services will only increase the cost of goods and services at a time most Californians – especially our low-income residents – can least afford it. “
- Gas tax hike is imminent: Shutterstock