SAN DIEGO — After hitting rock-bottom early in the state’s stay-at-home order, gas prices are climbing around San Diego County, and residents should expect to see another bump in July.
That’s due to a roughly 3-cent increase per gallon in the state’s gas tax, a planned adjustment that is built into the way California taxes gasoline. Each year, the state’s excise tax is adjusted based on prices. The changes, including this year’s increase, are mapped out on a chart provided by the Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
The 3.2-cent increase brings the tax to 50.5 cents per gallon and will remain in place until June 2021. The state’s sales tax on gas, meanwhile, remains fixed at 2.25%
Some California lawmakers, including Assembly Republican leader Marie Waldron of Escondido, have argued that now isn’t the right time to raise the tax.
“Unemployment continues to rise and all the ways California was unaffordable prior to the pandemic still exist — suspending the gas tax increase is the least that could be done,” Waldron told the Los Angeles Times.
But delaying or canceling the scheduled increase would require legislative action by the California State Assembly, which is controlled by a significant Democratic majority.
In 2017, Bill SB1 was signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown, increasing the tax on gas by 12 cents per gallon. An effort to repeal the increase failed during the 2018 midterm elections.