With drivers in the Golden State already paying a premium at the pump, California’s gas tax increased 5.6 cents on Monday to 47.3 percent cents per gallon, according to the state Board of Equalization.
The increase is the latest effect of a 2017 law that hiked state gas taxes and was upheld after voters rejected a repeal initiative last November. Previously, in Nov. 2017, the state fuel tax rose 12 cents from 29.7 cents per gallon to 41.7 cents.
In addition to increasing the base fuel tax, the 2017 law also raised the excise tax on diesel from 16 to 36 cents per gallon and enacted a vehicle registration fee that ranges from $25 to $175 annually.
The overall tax hike aimed to raise $5 billion a year for state highway maintenance and rehabilitation, as well as local streets and roads, mass transit and bicycle infrastructure. Last November, Proposition 6, the gas tax repeal measure, failed on a 56.8 percent to 43.2 percent vote.
Critics say the tax hike is compensating for frivolous spending by California Democrats and Caltrans. The California Republican Party stated in a news release issued Monday morning that the latest fuel tax increase brings the total amount of taxes and fees per gallon of gas to $1.04.
A federal fuel tax, as well as sales tax, are among the other costs that factor into the final price drivers pay at the pump.
Currently, gas prices in San Luis Obispo County are among the highest nationwide; with a $3.99 average price at the pump, according to AAA.
The national average for a gallon of gas is currently $2.71. The California average is $3.75.