Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced her bill Senate Bill 1156 was voted down in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee with a vote of 2-2. SB 1156 would have repealed the annual inflation adjustment in California’s per gallon motor vehicle fuel excise tax, and the diesel fuel excise tax.
California consistently holds the title for highest gas prices in the nation. Today, the average price of gasoline in California is up to $5.76 per gallon compared to a national average of $4.24 per gallon, a significant price difference of $1.52 per gallon. Gas prices have continued to rise due to a number of circumstances, including Sacramento Democrats’ goal to eliminate California’s domestic production and increase foreign imports.
“It’s ironic that Sacramento Democrats refused to give taxpayers even the smallest of breaks when it comes to gas prices, yet they passed tax cuts for marijuana growers on the very same day my legislation died,” said Senator Grove. “This is another example of how the majority party’s agenda is disconnected from the reality that families live every day.”
In 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1 (Beall), which increased taxes and fees on gasoline and diesel by $52 billion dollars over ten years. The law requires that the tax rates and fees specified in the bill be adjusted annually to reflect the California Consumer Price Index. Even though many are struggling to make it through the month, on July 1, the price of gasoline will go up even higher when the excise tax is raised by 5.6%. The Department of Finance estimates the July 1 excise tax increase will cost taxpayers an additional $523 million a year.
“Sacramento Democrats have failed to provide any relief for Californians who are struggling to pay the nation’s highest gas prices,” said Senator Grove. “My bill would have provided relief at the pump by simply stopping the annual inflation escalator that continues to take more each year from the pockets of Californians.”
This year, legislative Republicans have proposed several solutions to provide immediate relief to Californians, including formally requesting a gas tax holiday in the state budget, introducing legislation to suspend the gas tax, and supporting SB 1156.