California still has the highest gasoline prices in the U.S. along with the highest gas taxes. Gasoline is averaging $6.40 per gallon across California, inflation is escalating, people are hurting.
Immediate relief is needed, and the simplest, fastest remedy would be suspension of the gasoline tax at both federal and state levels. It’s been over 100 days since the Governor first called for gas tax relief, but nothing has happened. Despite our $97.5 billion surplus, the majority in the Legislature can’t come to an agreement about how to grant relief. The new idea is a small rebate of $250 to $350 based solely on income and residency. Legislative Democrats want to send $200 to all taxpayers earning less than $125,000, with an additional $200 per dependent. But they won’t consider a simple, temporary suspension of the gas tax, now at 51 cents per gallon. It’s scheduled to go up to 54 cents on July 1st. Can’t we at least stop that? Apparently not, though repeated attempts have been made.
So what’s next? I’m a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which is advocating an immediate, temporary suspension of federal and state gasoline taxes. I joined five Assembly colleagues in a letter to the President asking for suspension of the federal gas tax. The President agrees, and has asked Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months. In my opinion that’s not nearly long enough, but it’s a step California has been unable to take.
I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get relief at the pump. If you’d like to learn more about the Problem Solvers Caucus, and view our letter to President Biden, please visit: https://caproblemsolversfoundation.com