California’s gas tax rose 5.6 cents a gallon on Monday as an increase intended to raise funding for road repair and transportation programs went into effect.
That adds up to a total of 47.3 cents a gallon in states taxes, according to the state Board of Equalization.
There’s also an existing 18.4 cents per gallon federal fuel tax, plus local sales tax.
California voters in 2018 rejected an effort to repeal the 2017 law behind the state gas tax hike. The legislation was designed to collect $5 billion in annual tax revenue as part of a massive transportation package backed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.
Californians already pay the most for gas, which is averaging around $3.75 per gallon in the state ahead of Fourth of July, according to the latest numbers from AAA.
Despite the defeat of the ballot measure to repeal the gas tax increase, motorists are expressing frustration at the pump.
“Yes, I’m fed up with paying the high prices and constantly going up. … What’s going to keep it from going $20 a gallon?” Wendy Ray told KTLA at a gas station in Studio City on Monday.
Another local who said he spends a lot of time driving for work said he hasn’t noticed the difference in price.
“I kind of don’t question this anymore,” George Howard said. “I just eat it up. I have no option. I didn’t notice to be honest with you – I’m sure my account will.”
Before his election, Gov. Gavin Newsom defended the gas tax increase and slammed the Republican-led ballot measure to repeal it. In April, Newsom asked the state Energy Commission for an analysis of the state’s rising gas prices.
That report said that “possible market manipulation” by companies could be blamed for the increasing cost of gas.