California’s Hidden Gas Tax Coming 2015



California – Apparently there is a hidden Gas Tax coming our way, as soon as Jan. 1, 2015, and efforts to change the effect this will have on Californians by Senate Republican Leader, Bob Huff – and others – have been ignored.

“I am very much opposed to California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) decision to bring gas, diesel and natural gas under the cap-and-trade provision of AB 32. The gasoline and diesel fuel hikes coming in January 2015 will hurt everyone, especially lower income families, widening the income inequality gap and making life much harder for those who can least afford it. Currently, one in four Californians live in poverty – the highest rate in the nation – and families are still struggling to recover from the great recession,” said Senator Huff (representing California’s 29th District) in his October 2014 “Huff Headlines” newsletter.

On August 22, Senate Republicans sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro-Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), urging their support for any of three options to prevent or delay a significant cost increase on gasoline, diesel and natural gas in California by as much as 76 cents a gallon on Jan. 1, 2015.

According to Huff, suggested options were ignored. Senate Bill 1079 by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) would have exempted gasoline, diesel, and natural gas from the state’s cap-and-trade program, thereby stopping the hidden gas tax. SB 1079 was not allowed a hearing by the Democratic majority.

A second option was to support AB 69 by Assembly member, Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), which was amended to delay putting fuels under the cap-and-trade program until Jan. 1, 2018, with bipartisan support. It died in the Senate Rules Committee.

The 3rd option was for Gov. Brown to exercise his executive authority to direct CARB to exclude the fuels from the cap-and-trade program. Usually a tax is associated with some spending plan, and one can only assume (according to Huff) that the governor may want to spend the new taxes on his “high speed train to nowhere.”

Every citizen against the gas hikes must let their views be known now. Contact the governor by letter or phone, as follows: Governor Jerry Brown, c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA, 95814; Phone (916) 445-2841; or Fax (916) 558-3160.