Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Red Bluff, joined the members of the Senate Republican Caucus in calling for a “Gas Tax Holiday” for California motorists. The letter sent to Democrat budget leaders urges a full suspension on state gas tax collection for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year, backfilled by the State’s general fund. This would provide Californians with much needed financial relief while ensuring that transportation infrastructure projects are not impacted.
“California motorists deserve a holiday from skyrocketing gas prices,” said Nielsen. “We need to stop the July 1 gas tax hike.”
Following are excerpts from the letter:
Californians are currently enduring the highest gas prices in the nation, averaging $4.22 for a regular gallon of gasoline, over $1.15 above the national average, according to AARP.
While this Legislature is currently deliberating whether to expand the Golden State Stimulus payments to more Californians, it is important to understand that any action intended to provide financial relief to Californians is undermined by the accompanying rise in gasoline excise taxes.
The adverse impacts of high gas prices and taxes that we know disproportionately impacts our low to middle-income residents not only affects drivers, it increases the cost of living, including business costs and food prices, hampering our relief efforts and economic recovery.
On July 1, California’s excise tax on a gallon of gasoline will rise to 51.1 cents. At a time when the state budget is enjoying historic surpluses, Californians deserve a tax break, not higher taxes.
The average family of four pays as much as $800 in gas taxes a year and this increase is going to cost California drivers an additional $83 million in the next year alone.
Gas costs account for 14% of expenditures in the agricultural sector, and raising the gas tax would inherently raise the price of food, further resulting in not just a higher tax at the pump, but also increased costs at the checkout line.
Click here to read the full letter.
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Link to videos/soundbites with Nielsen on the Gas Tax Holiday: