Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed an $11 billion plan that would send California drivers a $400 gas rebate and make public transportation free.
In the governor’s plan, $9 billion in the package would go toward sending $400 to registered California vehicle owners and an extra $400 for those who own two vehicles — all in response to the recent increase in global gas prices.
The remaining $2 billion will go toward removing public transportation fees for three months, pausing sales taxes on diesel fuel, assisting walking and bikeway projects and building more electric vehicle charging stations.
“We’re taking immediate action to get money directly into the pockets of Californians who are facing higher gas prices as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Governor Newsom said on Wednesday. “But this package is also focused on protecting people from volatile gas prices, and advancing clean transportation – providing three months of free public transportation, fast-tracking electric vehicle incentives and charging stations, and new funding for local biking and walking projects.”
Newsom added that the average Californian pays roughly $300 a year in gas excise tax.
We’re proposing $9 billion in tax refunds to address rising gas prices — $400 per registered vehicle, up to 2 per person. We’re also proposing grants so public transit can be free for 3 months.
We know Californians are paying at the pump & with this refund, millions get $ back. pic.twitter.com/fNZOT3ds4S
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) March 23, 2022
The proposal also has no personal income cap, meaning all registered vehicle owners in California are eligible for the rebate.
The average price for regular gas in California has increased by more than $1 over the past month, reaching daily record highs and even reaching an average of $6 per gallon in some counties such as Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.
On March 14, Republican California lawmakers proposed a bill that would pause gas taxes for six months, but it was not voted through.
Other states have suspended the gas tax and prices fell. Our state has refused and they continue to rise. Our out-of-touch politicians simply don’t care.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) March 22, 2022
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley said he would propose the pause in gas taxes again this Thursday, saying the Assembly will have “another chance to suspend the gas tax immediately.
“Other states have suspended the gas tax and prices fell,” Kiley said on Twitter Wednesday. “Our state has refused and they continue to rise. Our out-of-touch politicians simply don’t care.”
While the governor’s proposal must still go through the California Legislature, Newsom projects the rebate payments to start going out as soon as July.