California to give $400 per vehicle to offset high gas prices

ABC News reports new details are emerging on Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s gas tax rebate proposal to help Californians with the rising costs at the pump. According to the Governor’s office, the refunds would include $400 for each registered vehicle that an individual owns — up to two vehicles. That means Californians who own cars could get up to $800 from the state to help offset record-high gas prices.

Instead of using the general fund to give car owners money during an election year, California should stop making gasoline and diesel fuel artificially expensive in the first place.

California gas prices are much higher than the national average, in part because of California taxes and regulations. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show retail gasoline prices in California were $1.33 higher in January of 2022 than the national average.

According to the World Population Review, California’s gas taxes are about 53 cents per gallon, compared to an average state gas tax of 29 cents per gallon, a difference of 24 cents per gallon. Additionally, an analysis by Stillwater Associates found that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard increased the cost of gas by 22 cents per gallon in 2020.

This means Californians are paying an additional 51 cents per gallon for purely political purposes. Cutting gas taxes and rescinding economically punitive regulations would be a much better policy than one-time payments to people who already own cars.