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Gas Pump with Bills. (Photo: Pixel 4 Images/Shutterstock)

Give us a Break — From the Gas Tax 

The rebate is entirely unrelated to the gas tax or the level of any individual’s ‘contribution’ to the $100 billion surplus

By Donald Wagner, June 30, 2022 2:30 am

The California gas tax jumps up again on July 1. While the State has a nearly $100 billion budget, the ruling party has repeatedly failed to offer any meaningful relief to taxpayers who have been overtaxed to create this enormous surplus. Now, Gov. Gavin Newsom has a proposal masquerading as gas tax relief that ensures those who actually pay the tax at the pump do not get the supposed “relief.” It represents everything wrong with Sacramento.

The governor’s current proposal rebates $9 billion, a paltry amount of the surplus, to only some California residents based on their income levels. The rebate is entirely unrelated to the gas tax or the level of any individual’s “contribution” to the $100 billion surplus. In other words, the governor’s scheme is essentially a subsidy which risks further stoking the cash consuming fire of inflation.

A better proposal for immediate relief at the pump: cut the gas tax at the pump. It is obvious, simple, and bypasses the bureaucratic challenges and expenses inherent in the governor’s scheme of identifying the privileged taxpayers entitled in Sacramento’s mind to relief, verifying income levels, and making the “rebate” payments.

All Californians who drive pay the gas tax upon filling up. But if Gov. Newsom gets his way, only some Californians will get a rebate at a future date, regardless of whether they drive or otherwise pay the tax. Moreover, of those permitted a token rebate, the more money they have paid to the state, the less money they will get back.

Often Sacramento comes up with inefficient, counter-productive proposals. However, in this case, the mismatch between taxpayers and those who will get “relief” is actually not a “bug” in the program, but a feature. Sacramento can pretend to help taxpayers. The headlines Newsom wants as the general election campaign season heats up almost write themselves. In reality though, surprisingly few actual taxpayers benefit in any measurable way, the state will not reform its rapacious and confiscatory gas tax program, and the unrelenting pressure Sacramento wants on fuel prices – imposed to further its climate goals – in fact just will not relent.

Pain at the pump is very real, and residents here in Orange County know it all too well. When the OC Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an item I brought forward, requesting the CA legislature provides tax relief for residents by suspending the $0.51 per gallon gas tax for six months, hundreds of constituents wrote me to share how they were feeling the financial burn from CA’s tax hikes.

Unfortunately, immediate relief for California’s pain at the gas pump could have come months ago. But because Sacramento did not want it then or now, Gov. Newsom insists on slow walking his scheme, little campaign advertisements for him, until we get closer to the election.

It is a win-win proposal for Newsom and Sacramento’s tax and spend crowd. But taxpayers do not share in the win.

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8 thoughts on “Give us a Break — From the Gas Tax 

  1. Good point about the inflation, that is often over-looked. I don’t know why more are not up in arms over this…first it was for cars not it’s income! Still haven’t seen my “rebate”

  2. Oh don’t bother Governor Hairgel with ECONOMIC REALITY – he’s too busy preening and starting his 2024 Presidential campaign, now that Biden has proven himself to be infirm, mentally incapacitated and Kamala is close behind in the mental incapacity, just in a different way…..
    Herr Schwab wants TWO of his “Young Global Leaders” running the North American continent & economy into the ground to institute their “Great Reset” plans and all the loss of individual freedoms that entails…
    Praying for divine intervention (or SEAL Team Seven), whichever is quicker…

  3. THANK YOU! …And they wonder why ‘Sleazy’ comes to mind. ACTIONS speak volumes. The “Gas Tax” should have been suspended long ago to provide relief for California drivers, gas tax the State receives ($$ millions) has doubled with the per gallon price. The “Gas Tax” is a completely separate issue from the “Budget Surplus”. Both need to be refunded independently and in accordance with California law.

  4. Any gas tax rebates should go directly to people with vehicles registered to to them. Anything else is just another vote buying scheme

    1. “Vote buying scheme”…
      Which is exactly what this scam is. The checks get cut a month before the November elections. You know, right around the same time ‘early voting’ starts. Can these idiots (California Democrats) get any more obvious?
      (Rhetorical question: No, they can’t. They think we’re stoopid. And regarding 85% of the California populace they’re absolutely correct.)

      Remember Gavie’s Covid Relief checks, that were direct deposited a month before his recall vote? Those were in the days before these evil clowns had almost $100 billion ‘extra’ taxpayer money to use pulling this crap.
      California is screwed. Or should I say, Californians are screwed.

  5. Agree with others. These rebates are ridiculous. They should cut the tax so those who are actually buying gas see some relief. This really makes me mad, so nonsensical.

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