by Katy Grimes, Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As appearing in the California Globe
On July 1, just in time for summer road trips, California’s gas tax will go up another 5.6 cents. The increase occurs even as the rest of the country is looking at gas decreases, with drivers in some states paying less than $2 per gallon.
Californians are in love with their cars. With 165,000 square miles in which to travel the Golden State, California has always had a prominent car culture.
California’s current gas price of $3.81 per gallon according to AAA is down from a recent $4.09 in May but remains one of the highest in the nation. Once the July 1 gas tax increase goes into effect, it will be the highest-priced gas in the country.
Senate Bill 1, signed into law by then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017, increased the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, and increased automobile registration fees by more than $175. SB 1 said, “Over the next 10 years, the state faces a $59 billion shortfall to adequately maintain the existing state highway system in order to keep it in a basic state of good repair.”
The gas tax increase was estimated to generate $54 billion over a decade. However, since Prop. 6 was rejected, California’s highway system remains in notorious disrepair.
In November of 2018, voters rejected Proposition 6, the gas tax repeal.