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'It Is What It Is': California's Gas Tax Goes Up On July 1

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It will be more expensive to fill up the gas tank in the Golden State on July 1 when California's annual gas tax increase goes into effect.

The gas tax increases every year to account for inflation, but this year, it comes at a time when California gas prices are at an all-time high. Northern California counties surpass the national average by at nearly $2, according to AAA.

How much will gas prices increase? California's gas tax is around 51 cents per gallon, one of the highest in the country, but Friday it will go up to about 54 cents per gallon. This comes as California counties see gas prices above $6. Sacramento County, before the gas tax increase, was at $6.17 per gallon on average. El Dorado County, on average a gallon, is $6.34.

The annual increase started as part of Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which became law in 2017. The bill takes money collected from the gas tax to fix roads, bridges, and freeways statewide. The funds are divided equally between state and local projects.

This year, drivers tell CBS13 the timing of the gas tax increase comes on top of already high gas prices and inflation.

"You're not getting paid any more money in your job, cost of living, the wages, it doesn't cover the difference," said Artis Jackson, a driver.

Another told CBS13 that while he pumped gas, he usually spends more than $100 and compared the experience to a slot machine without the payout.

"It's just a cost that's going to go up, unfortunately," said Frank Mayer, a driver.

The tax is built into the price per gallon at the pump in California, and the increase of 2.8 cents will go into effect on July 1.

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