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Newsom Unveils Relief Package For Soaring Gas Prices

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Sacramento, CA – With regular gas at a state record of $5.88 per gallon in California, the highest in the nation, Californians are calling for relief at the pumps.

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom attempted to answer that call by releasing the details of his proposal to deliver $11 billion in relief in the form of rebates, gas tax suspensions and climate change initiatives like buying electric cars.

“We’re taking immediate action to get money directly into the pockets of Californians who are facing higher gas prices as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Governor Newsom. “But this package is also focused on protecting people from volatile gas prices, and advancing clean transportation – providing three months of free public transportation, fast-tracking electric vehicle incentives and charging stations, and new funding for local biking and walking projects.”

Eligibility will be based on vehicle registration, not tax records to make sure seniors and low-income households are not left out. The Governor gave a short synopsis of his proposed relief in a video on social media, click here to view. The plan includes $9 billion in tax refunds to Californians. Noting that an average California driver spends approximately $300 in gasoline excise tax over a year, Newsom outlined how the rebate portion will work with direct payments to citizens.

“$400 for each registered vehicle that an individual owns, up to two vehicles for a total of $800. That direct relief will address the issue that we all are struggling to address and that is the issue of gas price,” detailed Newsom.

That includes people who own electric cars. Debit cards will be used to release those funds and there will be no income cap. The rest of the funds will go towards a broader relief proposal:

  • $2 billion in relief for free public transportation for three months, pausing a portion of the sales tax rate on diesel, and suspending the inflationary adjustment on gas and diesel excise tax
  • $500 million to support active transportation programs, like walking and biking projects
  • Fast-tracking $1.75 billion of the Governor’s historic $10 billion ZEV package to get more Californians into clean vehicles faster, build charging stations

Earlier this month, Republican state lawmakers pushed a bill to temporarily suspend the gas tax but it failed to garner enough votes, as reported here.

If the Legislature approves the governor’s plan, the first payments could begin as soon as July.

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