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California gas tax increases once again on July 1

Posted at 10:38 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 17:00:01-04

(KGTV) -- Starting Thursday, July 1, Californians can expect to pay a little more for gasoline as the state’s yearly gas tax increase takes effect.

The tax hike, which was signed into law in 2017, incrementally raises the fuel tax annually in order to help fund road and bridge repairs across the state. The increase also accounts for inflation.

Supporters have said the gas tax hike will have a minimal impact on Californians’ wallets but will go a long way for the state’s infrastructure.

However, opponents such as state Sen. Pat Bates, said gas prices are high enough. Bates, who represents parts of North County, co-signed a letter to Gov. Newsom calling for a one-year halt on the tax and urging funds from the state’s surplus be used for infrastructure instead.

"These are things that help every socioeconomic level if we reduce the pain at the pump and I think that's what we're concerned about," Bates said.

Doug Shupe with AAA said the actual cost to Californians is a 0.6-cent per gallon increase, which means the average driver could pay between 6-12 cents extra per fill-up.

"Historically, what we have found is that when we have higher gas prices heading into a major holiday weekend, like Fourth of July, like Labor Day, like Thanksgiving, that does not alter most people's plans to travel because people typically make their travel,” said Shupe.

As of July 1, the average price of a gallon of gas in San Diego County is $4.26 -- two cents lower than the state average but far above the national average of $3.11.