SACRAMENTO—The effort to temporarily remove California’s gas tax—the highest in the nation—failed in the state assembly on March 14 as gas prices continue to climb throughout the state.
“Every [Republican] lawmaker voted to take 50 cents off the gallon of gas,” Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) wrote on Twitter. “Not a single Democrat Assemblymember supported this effort to lower gas prices.”
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced Assembly Bill 1638 on Jan. 12 to suspend the gas tax for six months to save residents about 50 cents per gallon, a “burden” on community Californians that will continue to worsen, Kiley told The Epoch Times in a previous interview.
In a partisan vote on March 14, the opposition votes were leading 40–18. The assembly bill needed two-thirds of the votes to pass.
The bill was intended to give “taxpayers a little bit relief” as the state budget surplus is expecting to bring in billions, according to Kiley.
Californians currently pay an average of $5.75 per gallon as of March 14, about $1.42 above the national average, according to American Automobile Association.
Aside from Kiley’s proposed legislation, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently proposed a one-year reduction in the gas tax rate in order to offset an inflation adjustment that will raise gas prices across the state on July 1. The proposal would cut the tax by 3 cents per gallon, so taxpayers won’t see a change in rates.
However, Newsom announced last week at the State of the State address that the effort wasn’t enough. He said he planned to provide state residents with a rebate to help with high gas prices.
“Working with legislative leadership, I’ll be submitting a proposal to put money back into the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices,” Newsom said.