Calif. Democrats vote to preserve July 1 gas tax hike

Republicans sought to suspend California’s perpetual gas tax increase, tied to inflation markers. Democrats opted to raise gas taxes anyway.

Days before the next California gas tax hike is set to take place, Assembly Republicans tried to stop it to no avail. 

California Democrats shot the effort down, ensuring that the state will receive $600 million in the next year from the increase. 


The big picture: Tuesday, Assembly Republicans proposed an amendment to a budget bill that would suspend the eight percent tax increase, which is set to take effect on July 1. 

  • But the Assembly shot it down on a party-line vote. 
  • California has the second-highest gas tax in the nation, behind Washington, and retail gas prices are $1.28 more than the national average. 

What they’re saying: Asm. Laurie Davies (R–Laguna Niguel), who proposed the suspension, railed against Democrats for allowing gas prices to increase. 

  • “Californians are struggling with the high cost of food, energy, housing and gas. Pushing the gas tax even higher means families will have fewer opportunities and less food on their table,” Davies said. “That is not the California I want to live in. By rejecting my effort to suspend the gas tax increase, the Legislature missed an opportunity to make life better for California drivers.”
  • Sen. Janet Nguyen (R–Huntington Beach), who serves as the Senate Minority Caucus Chair, said pausing the gas tax increase would be a common-sense approach. 
  • “Families who faced significant hardships last year and are still burdened by high gas prices are in need of relief. As parents carefully allocate their budgets to juggle expenses like food and gas, it is important for all lawmakers to prioritize initiatives that can truly make a positive impact,” Nguyen said. “It is well within the means and capabilities of Sacramento Democrats to enhance affordability and safety in California, but unfortunately, there has been a continued shortfall in achieving these goals. Today’s events are just the latest example of this.”
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