Calaveras Leaders Hoping For Gas Tax Suspension
Sheriff Rick DiBasilio
San Andreas, CA — At the urging of Sheriff Rick Dibasilio, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors is planning to send a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for a suspension of the excise gas tax.
It currently equals 51-cents, and it will increase another three cents in July.
Democrats in the state legislature are pushing for a gas rebate for owners of vehicles, while Republicans are pushing for a temporary suspension of the gas tax.
Sheriff Dibasilio argued that high gas prices are very detrimental to his department because of the vast amount of area his deputies travel. He says a gas rebate would help consumers, but not departments like his that need to travel many miles each day.
Referencing his recent conversations with CAO Christa Von Latta, Sheriff DiBasilio stated, “The amount of money I asked for (in upcoming budget), she fell out of her chair when I asked for it, but it is reality.”
Board Chair Amanda Folendorf noted that PG&E PSPS events will also cost more this year when generators are required.
Supervisor Benjamin Stopper added, “I believe we should send this letter out, but I’m not very optimistic about what the response will be.”
Stopper continued, “At least we say our peace.” He added that even a partial suspension would be beneficial, as the issue impacts government, individuals and businesses, “top to bottom.”
The Public Works Director, Robert Pachinger, voiced some caution about what a loss of gas tax money would mean for county projects that are currently in development. He noted that he has mixed opinions about sending the letter. He praised an idea brought up to request that portions of the $45 billion surplus be used to reimburse recipients of the gas tax, so it would not impact road projects.
The board gave consensus, 4-0 (Supervisor Merita Callaway was absent), to have county staff draft a letter to the Governor, requesting a suspension of the excise gas tax, and it will come back at a later meeting for a formal vote.