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Newsom proposes $400 gas rebate payments to California vehicle owners

Gov. Newsom proposes gas rebate for Californians with registered vehicles 03:45

Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed giving $400 payments to the owner of a vehicle registered in California as a way to address skyrocketing gas prices.

The $11 billion relief package would send payments of $400 to the owner of each registered vehicle, up to two vehicles per person. Newsom is also proposing $750 million in grants that would make public transit free for three months, up to $600 million to pause a part of the sales tax rate on diesel for one year, and $523 million to pause the inflationary adjustment to gas and diesel excise tax rates.

"That direct relief will address the issue that we all are struggling to address, and that's the issue of gas prices, not only here in our state but of course all across this country," Newsom said in a tweeted video. "This direct relief is on top of the $10-plus billion that we have distributed over the last year with the Golden State Stimulus."

Newsom's proposal also calls for $500 million in active transportation for projects that promote biking and walking throughout the state and fast tracks a $1.75 billion portion of the governor's historic $10 billion package to get more Californians into clean vehicles faster and build more charging stations.

Gas prices have been on a steady rise for weeks now, with the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles County hitting $6 for the first time on Tuesday. Several factors were blamed for the high gas prices, including the pandemic, high demand as businesses return to their offices, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

California, in particular, is grappling with the highest gas prices in the nation. But gas prices are painfully high across the country, prompting lawmakers in Congress to consider a $2,000 in stimulus payments to help. The Gas Rebate Act, which was proposed by Napa Democrat Mike Thompson, would pay $100 per person every month that the average price for a gallon of gas is at least $4. Under the proposal, single tax payers who make up to $80,000 a year, and joint filers who make up to $160,000 a year, would qualify.

If approved, the gas rebate payments proposed by the governor would come in the form of debit cards to the registered owner of a vehicle, starting as soon as July. Each California driver, who on average spends about $300 in gas sales tax a year, is eligible for up to two rebate payments.

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