Sacramento, California – California residents could soon get a tax break, free rides on public transit and help pay up to $ 800 in debit card fuel, according to a proposal released Wednesday by Democratic Governor Gavin News.
California’s average gas price hit a new state record on Wednesday at $ 5.88 per gallon, $ 2 more than a year ago, according to the AAA. California has the second highest gas tax in the country at 51 cents per gallon. But democratic leaders in the state were wary of suspending the gas tax because they feared oil companies would not save on drivers.
Instead, they want to send money directly to taxpayers.
The governor’s office says the average California driver spends about $ 300 a year on gas taxes. Newsom’s idea is to give car owners a $ 400 debit card for two cars, for a total of $ 800. The money will go to everyone who owns a car registered in the state – including Uber-rich, illegal immigrants, and even those who do not own a vehicle.
For those who do not have a car, Newsom wants the state to pay their bus or train fares for three months. His proposal would give transit and rail agencies $ 750 million, which would be enough to give free rides to 3 million people a day, Newsom said. About $ 1.1 billion this summer will be used to stem the rising cost of diesel and fuel taxes, and to fund another $ 500 million for projects that promote biking and walking.
“The package also focuses on protecting the public from volatile gas prices and advancing clean transportation,” Newsom said.
Rising fuel prices are a complex policy issue for newsmen who are trying to milk the state from fossil fuels. He has signed an executive order to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035 and to stop all oil extraction by 2045. He proposed a total of $ 10 billion over six years to increase production of zero-emissions vehicles and build charging stations.
High gas prices generally motivate people to be more thoughtful about their car use, eliminating the need for more walking or unnecessary car travel, says Laura Dihan, California State Director of Environment, a nonprofit that advocates stopping the use of fossil fuels. Paying people for gas will encourage them to drive more cars, he said.
Instead, he said, Newsom should spend 9 9 billion to get people out of gas-gazing cars.
“Anyone who has a car in the state just providing this rebate is not going to help us move away from the long-term instability that comes with our fossil fuel dependence,” he said.
Newsom’s plan must be approved by the legislature, where Democrats dominate both the assembly and the senate. But democratic leaders do not like the idea of giving money to rich people. They are discussing their own rebate proposal, which would give each taxpayer 200 rebate and less than $ 125,000 in taxable income for single filers and $ 250,000 for joint filers to their children. That means a family of five will receive $ 1,000 while a single parent of two children will receive $ 600.
“The Senate is focused on making sure that the state’s money is targeted at those who really need relief, and we look forward to working with Government News, Speaker Randon and our legislators to quickly come up with a proposal that provides for the struggles of Californians.” Senate President Pro Tempore Tony Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego.
A spokesman for Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Randon described the idea as “consistent with the speaker’s goal of providing targeted financial relief to Californians most in need,” but stressed that the idea was “at an early stage.”
Newsom’s plan is similar to a separate proposal raised by more moderate Democrats in the state legislature last week that would pay কর 400 to each taxpayer, regardless of income. Legislator Coty Petri-Norris, a Democrat from Laguna Beach who supports the plan, called on the legislature and Newsom to act quickly.
“The forms of the governor’s proposal are a little different from what we have proposed, but I would be very happy to support it,” he said.
The governor’s office said Newsom would be willing to discuss with lawmakers who could receive the money, a process that could take some time to resolve.
Republicans have called for a temporary suspension of the state’s gas tax, saying it was the fastest way to provide relief. It takes time to provide rebates like Newsom, the governor’s office says people will see the money by July.
“People need relief now,” said Assemblyman Republican James Gallagher. “We now have, for example, four different competition plans among Democrats. These guys are going to be arguing against themselves for weeks and months and who knows what we’re going to get.
Associated Press writer Kathleen Ronin contributed to this report.