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Democrats Kill GOP Effort to Suspend California Gas Tax



Gov. Gavin Newsom prefers issuing rebates to residents instead of suspending California's 51.1 cents a gallon fuel tax. (AP File)
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The California Legislature rejected a Republican-led effort Monday to suspend the state’s highest-in-the-nation fuel tax  — even as residents face gas costs of above $5.50 a gallon.

Assembly Bill AB 1638  would have used revenue from the state’s General Fund to pay for highway improvements during a six-month suspension of the 51.1 cents a gallon tax. The bill failed on a party-line vote.

Gas prices have surged to record levels in California and other states because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent crude oil prices soaring.

“California Democrats have once again proven that they do not care enough about Californians to give them immediate relief from the highest fuel costs in the nation,” said Republican National Committee spokesperson Hallie Balch in a news release.

“Today they had the chance to match their actions to their words, but they did what we have come to expect from California Democrats: they disappointed Californians everywhere.”

On Monday, Republicans in the state Senate sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for immediate action to cut gas prices.

Newsom Prefers Gas Tax Rebates Instead

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to issue government rebates to residents to offset gas and diesel prices. The details are hazy, but a Newsom adviser said last week that the rebates would amount to billions of dollars.

Click on this San Joaquin Valley Sun link to see how Valley lawmakers voted.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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