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New California Gas Tax Hike Takes Effect, Drivers Now Paying Over 51 Cents Per Gallon In State Taxes

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Californians going to the pump will likely notice another increase in gas prices Thursday, as a new state gas tax hike takes effect.

Some of the highest gas prices in town are posted on a signboard at a gas station in downtown Los Angeles, California on June 22, 2021, as gasoline prices rise. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

The new tax will increase the price of regular by six-tenths of a cent, which will bring the state gas excise tax to 51.1 cents per gallon. The tax on diesel will increase by four-tenths of a cent to 38.9 cents.

The hike is part of Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair & Accountability Act, which the California Legislature passed in April of 2017 and includes increases in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees. The money raised by the gas tax goes towards paying for bridge and road repairs.

The tax increases annually based on the California Consumer Price Index.

When it took affect in November of 2017, it increased the gas tax by 12 cents. It then went up another 5.6 cents in July of 2019, to 47.3 cents per gallon. It went up another 3.2 cents in July of 2020 to 50.5 cents.

In November of 2018, California voters rejected a proposition that would have repealed the tax. California has the highest gas tax in the nation.

The average price of gas in Los Angeles County Thursday was $4.31 a gallon. Southern California gas prices are currently at their highest rate since 2015.

The California Republican Party, critics of the bill, released a statement in response to the hike, noting the state's purported budget surplus which was announced by Newsom last month.

"California already has the highest gas prices and highest gas tax in the nation, but Gavin Newsom and Sacramento Democrats didn't think that was high enough," the statement read in part. "Despite a budget surplus, Democrats ignored the calls for a gas tax holiday, instead taking more from hard-working Californians who are simply trying to make their daily commute."

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