Prepare for the gas tax to increase: What does it even pay for?
The price of paradise could be going up even more this summer. It looks like California will be raising its gas tax as lawmakers have not acted to stop the increase.
This story was originally published on CBS News 8 San Diego. Please get the original CBS story and video here.
“The tax goes up more this year because inflation is up, so instead of having a 1 cent or 2 cent increase, now it is three,” Rider said.
Going up from the current 51 cents, the gas tax is expected to rise to 54 cents.
What does the gas tax go to? It is comprised of three major parts:
- Base tax: 19.4 cents per gallon goes to pay for state highway maintenance, rehabilitation, and related administration.
- Incremental tax:18.7 cents goes to the state highway account for truck weight fee revenues.
- Senate Bill 1 tax: 13 cents goes to fund active transportation, bridge and culvert repairs, and transportation research.
“A gas tax actually makes sense if the money is used primarily for roads, but it is not. Most of the money is spent elsewhere, like it is spent on mass transit that very few people use or bike lanes and trails,” said Rider.
Charles Langley, Executive Director of Public Watchdogs says in a statement:
“We shouldn’t have to make a choice between good government and roads and bridges. This is monstrous and will kick the consumer. Meanwhile local government benefits and gets anywhere between 9% to 11% per gallon of gas.”
State Senator Brian Jones says he is disappointed the legislature did not act to stop the gas tax from going up. He wanted it suspended altogether.
“I’ve been fighting to suspend the gas tax and gas tax increases for almost a year. Not only did the Governor and Democrat leaders in the California Legislature refuse to suspend the gas tax and bring direct relief to Californians, they are doubling down and allowing the 5.6% gas tax increase to take effect in July. They believe suspending the tax increase would have too small of an impact on everyday Californians to matter, yet it has such a huge impact. Now the clock has run out, and the July gas tax hike is imminent. When Californians see record high gas prices again, they can thank the Governor and Democrat leaders in the Legislature,” said Senator Brian Jones.
“Suspending the gas tax would reduce critical funds available for road repair and improvement projects. The Better for Families Rebate that the Legislature has proposed would provide the most meaningful relief to the most California families. We are continuing to work through the budget process to get financial help to Californians as quickly as possible.”
Senator Jones says the gas tax hike is not a done deal yet with the state budget due May 10, and it being finalized on June 15, there’s still a chance for change.
“That is the nice thing about the legislature, nothing is ever a done deal, there is always room for negotiation. I’m hoping that when we get back on Monday, we will continue to have conversations on this,” said Jones.
May 1st is listed as the deadline for lawmakers to act for the gas tax increase.
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