Because of gas prices continuing to spike, California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing all California vehicle owners get a $400 gas card rebate for up to two cars. Everyone in Cali has two cars, so this amounts to $800. His hope is to provide relief for the crazy skyrocketing gas prices. Other states have made moves in this direction, or are looking at similar programs. And California has other proposals being discussed as well.
Newsom also wants to stop some portion of the tax on diesel fuel for one year. For that, he’ll budget $600 million, and $750 million more to subsidize free transit for the next three months. The current average for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles is $6.00. The current national average is $4.25.
How would the California gas rebates work?
If approved by the state legislature, debit cards would be issued sometime in July. “Today we’re announcing a $9 billion tax refund to tens of millions of Californians,” said Newsom. “That direct relief will address the issue that we all are struggling to address, and that is the issue of gas prices.”
Some State Assemblymen want the state to send out $400 to every taxpayer. Another proposes sending $200 to taxpayers and their dependents. This would only go to families making under $250,000. While some balk at the projected costs, California has for years amassed a large budget surplus. And Californians pay some of the highest tax rates in the country.
Maryland and Georgia have stopped state gas taxes
Already, both Maryland and Georgia have already suspended state gas taxes for at least the next month. According to USA Today, that amounts to 36 cents a gallon and 29 cents respectively. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer proposed a similar gas tax pause last week.
And Democratic Senators Mark Kelly from Arizona and Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire have proposed legislation to suspend the federal gas tax until 2023. Gubernatorial candidates in Pennsylvania and Alabama are suggesting similar legislation as California.
Biden administration considered gas rebates
While President Biden was looking at a gas rebate for all Americans, he said earlier this week it would not be feasible to enact. His administration is now looking at federal rebates of $100 a month that would kick in when gas prices go above $4.00 a gallon. Each dependent would increase that amount by $100 per child. It would be extended to families making under $75,000 a year, or joint filers making less than $150,000.
Right now, all of these proposals are in the early stages of discussion. For Californians, the Newsom proposal would be part of the 2023 budget, which must be approved by June 15, 2022. And all of these ideas would need to happen soon, as prices continue to rise daily.
Mostly, these proposals are seeing bipartisan support because, really, who would be against getting cash in their pocket to offset gas prices? So relief, in some form is coming, and none too soon.