SACRAMENTO – Today, California’s gas tax goes into effect, bumping up 12 cents per gallon to reach about 42 cents cents per gallon, the Press-Enterprise reports (Editor's note: albeit incorrectly. Please click here for a full recap from CIOMA.). The gasoline tax is now tied to inflation, with adjustments kicking in by the end of the decade.
The new gas tax is part of a larger transportation funding bill that hopes to generate $5.2 billion annually over 10 years to build new roads and improve current highways. However, because gas stations are in the middle of switching from the summer blends to less expensive winter blends, gas prices might not rise the full 12 cents a gallon.
But that doesn’t mean the tax hike has gone unnoticed. “As of November 1, instead of California families saving about 12 cents per gallon from the annual switch to a winter blend of gasoline, the government is going to take the savings that people would have spent on food, entertainment, holiday presents, and much more,” said Ryan Hanretty, executive director of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association. “In a state that has consistently driven up the cost of living on working and middle-class families, this is another policy from Sacramento politicians that will reach deeper into family budgets for the next 10 years.”
California Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly said such a tax hike is necessary for the upkeep of its infrastructure. “Around the country, infrastructure suffers when investment doesn’t keep pace with the needs. It was time to reinvest,” Kelly said. He pointed out that the state hadn’t increased its gas tax in nearly three decades.