Just when you thought it was safe to purchase gas again, the state is adding $3.5 cents to every gallon you buy.

Yep, right when the AAA of Southern California is screaming, “Gas Price Spike Screeches To A Halt,” your own government is sticking it to you.

Here's the deal:

The state Board of Equalization yesterday voted to increase the pump tax. It won't go into effect until you really don't need it — during the peak driving season of summer.

July 1 is the date. Yeah.

The state actually says that it raises and lowers taxes so that its income from the pump remains “revenue neutral.” The Board:

As gasoline prices increase, the relative amount of state sales tax that would be collected, but for the fuel tax swap, decreases and must be offset by an increase in the excise tax rate.

(Scratches head). So as you pay more, you pay more apparently.

The good news for now is that there's actually gas below $4 a gallon in L.A. for the first time in weeks.

But you know that price won't hold for long.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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