SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Governor Gavin Newsom’s effort to pause an increase to the state’s gas tax likely won’t happen, his office confirmed Tuesday.
The governor proposed halting an increase to the tax tied to inflation in his state budget proposal in January. This needed legislative approval by May 1 in order for the pause to go into effect in July. As of Tuesday, state lawmakers had yet to turn the Governor’s proposal into a bill, and showed no signs anyone in the legislature would do so. Legislative leaders earlier this year said they had concerns with pausing the increase because of the funding it provides to road repair, projects and jobs.
“It is clear now that the Legislature will not act in time to provide that immediate, limited relief, but we look forward to working with lawmakers on the Governor’s proposal for direct payments to Californians wrestling with rising prices,” Governor Newsom’s spokesman Alex Stack said. “Helping offset the impact of inflation on California residents remains a top priority for the Governor, and his revised budget will include proposals to help Californians keep pace with rising costs. The sooner we can move this package through the legislative process, the sooner we can deliver needed relief to Californians.”
The governor and members of the legislature have proposed a series of ideas to provide relief in response to rising gas prices and the cost of living, and talks on those efforts are ongoing. Newsom has proposed sending direct payments to California car owners, while Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon have proposed sending direct payments based on income. Republicans in the legislature have proposed temporarily suspending the state’s gas tax, which Democrats have rejected numerous times. A group of Democrats in the Assembly support sending $400 direct payments to all California taxpayers, regardless of income status.