WILL CALIFORNIANS SEE A GAS TAX INCREASE DURING THE PANDEMIC?

The gas tax in California is scheduled to increase on July 1, 2020. I believe that lawmakers must take action to stop this increase from being implemented.

What happens in one state can often set an example for other states. As Americans continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, as well as deal with widespread unemployment and economic struggles, many hard-working people are looking for some financial relief. During such a period in America, people do not want to see a gas tax increase.

The scheduled increase is set to raise the total tax by 3.2 cents, to 50.5 cents per gallon, which would raise an estimated $440 million of revenue per year. With millions of Californians suffering from loss of jobs during the pandemic, an increase in gas tax would hurt people who are already struggling. Additionally, a gas tax increase may raise the costs of transportation, which would do the opposite of stimulating the economy.

I am not a fan of state gas tax increase. Last year, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Wisconsin State Journal, opposing a proposed 8 cents per gallon gas tax increase (at the time) in the Badger State.

While 3.2 cents per gallon may not seem much, an increase is still an increase, and it is particularly difficult during the ongoing crisis.. Furthermore, California already has one of the highest average gas prices in the country. Therefore, any further burden on the taxpayers’ wallets would create more hardship for Californians. I hope the lawmakers prevent this scheduled increase from going into effect.

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