Written by Gabriel Dillard
As the inflation train continues to run off the tracks, there was one action lawmakers in Sacramento could’ve taken to spare struggling California families an impending gas tax hike.
And it’s not going to happen.
Politico reported Thursday that all of the political hot air around giving Californians some sort of relief at the gas pump floated up into the ether with no consequence. A plan to suspend an annual tax increase will miss a May 1 deadline, according to a statement from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Even with actual bill language from the Department of Finance, lawmakers are unlikely to pass the legislation by Sunday, reported Politico.
“It is clear now that the Legislature will not act in time to provide that immediate, limited relief,” Newsom spokesperson Alex Stack said in a statement. “But we look forward to working with lawmakers on the Governor’s proposal for direct payments to Californians wrestling with rising prices.”
California’s current tax on gasoline is 51.1 cents per gallon — second only to Pennsylvania, according to U.S. News & World Report. The planned increase is tied to inflation. Last summer, the tax increased from 50.5 cents per gallon.
Assembly Republicans put out a big “told you so” statement Tuesday on the failure of the supermajority Democrats to act as inflation hits a 40-year high of 8.5%
“This is pathetic – Democrats have pretty much given up on providing relief to struggling Californians,” said Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (Yuba City). “Regular people are having to make hard choices about what part of their household budgets to cut. By allowing yet another gas tax increase, Democratic politicians are making those choices even harder.”
The hardest pill to swallow is how predictable this outcome was. Highlighting that, the Assembly Republicans’ “Capital Democrats are All Talk Timer” keeps ticking — 48 days since Newsom promised some relief for drivers.
And California families continue to get hammered by rising prices.