Santa Monica proposed ‘gas tax vacation’ amid soaring fuel prices

SANTA MONICA, CA – Santa Monica residents facing inflation and a relentless pandemic might find some relief at the gas pump this summer. According to Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal, the state’s gas tax increase planned for the summer may not take effect.

Newsom unveiled its budget on Monday, introducing its “$ 523 million gas tax vacation”.

“We’ll be populating it in terms of the tax ourselves on transportation projects so there won’t be a direct impact on investments,” Newsom told reporters.

In addition to being the most populous state, the Golden State is also one of the most expensive places to live. No one feels this more than Santa Monica drivers, as the state still has the most expensive gasoline in the nation.

“Oil prices are rising again because of [to] Unrest in some oil-producing countries, but that impact appears to be mitigated by concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid on gasoline demand, “Jeffrey Spring, spokesman for the Southern California Auto Club, said in a statement.

Average regular gasoline prices in California rose to $ 4.65 a gallon in January, just 10 cents below the highest recorded average price of $ 4.71 on November 27, 2021, AAA said on Wednesday.

In Santa Monica, the average price for regular gasoline this week was $ 4,677.

The average national price was $ 3.30 on Wednesday, AAA reported.

“Southern California drivers started the New Year with the highest average price ever in the region for January; the national average is 30 percent higher today than it was a year ago when it was $ 3.26 a gallon,” Spring said on Thursday.

While most Californians face gasoline prices uncomfortably close to $ 5, a gas station along an iconic stretch of State Route 1 through Big Sur boasted of possibly the most expensive fuel in the country: a gas station in Gorda cost 7.59 $ per gallon.

California’s gas prices are shockingly high, and experts suggest that strong oil demand, low supply, and soaring oil prices are responsible for the skyrocketing price at the pump.

“What has increased prices is the imbalance in the market,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, previously told SFGate. “Supply is still 10-15 percent below pre-Covid levels, while demand is returning to pre-Covid levels and has reached all-time highs in some places this summer.”

Here are some tips from AAA for better gas mileage.

  • Avoid “Jack Rabbit” starts, quick acceleration and hard braking. These measures can reduce fuel consumption by 15 to 30 percent.
  • Avoid excessive idling. A car engine typically uses a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour when idling.
  • Avoid commuting during rush hour, the busiest time.
  • Time lights to keep your momentum going and avoid stop-and-go rides.
  • Use cruise control.
  • To warm up the engine, drive instead of idling.
  • Use a prepaid fast pass on toll roads.
  • For manual drivers, shift gears efficiently by upshifting as quickly as possible. When stopping, brake instead of downshifting.
  • Watch your speed. Fuel consumption is around 50 miles per hour for most vehicles. Reducing highway speed by 5 to 10 miles per hour can cut fuel consumption by 7 to 14 percent, according to the AAA.

A worsening spike in gasoline, groceries, and rent prices weighed on Californians throughout the holiday season.

Inflation rose at the fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, a 7 percent year-over-year increase that increased household spending and led to wage hikes, and put pressure on President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve to be the biggest threat to the US US Federal Reserve to fight the US economy.

In the Golden State, prices for cars, gasoline, groceries and furniture rose sharply as part of a rapid recovery from the pandemic recession fueled by substantial government aid and emergency Fed intervention to cut interest rates. As Americans increased their spending, supply chains were constrained by shortages of labor and raw materials.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the consumer price index – its measure of inflation excluding volatile food and gas prices – rose 5.5 percent in December, the largest increase since 1991. The CPI rose 0.5 percent overall from November, compared to 0.8 percent in the previous month.

With California revenue at an all-time high, Newsom proposed a budget that would cut taxes to offset the effects of inflation.

“We have the capacity to invest in our growth engines, to invest in the future and to prepare for the uncertainties of the future.” said Newsom.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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