SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom took to Twitter to announce his office is proposing $9 billion in tax refunds to address rising gas prices.
"That direct relief will address the issue that we all are struggling to address, and that's the issue of gas prices," Newsom said in the video. "Not only here in our state, but of course, all across this country."
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.
Newsom's office also is proposing giving grants to make public transit free for up to three months. His proposal would give $750 million to transit and rail agencies.
Another $600 million would pay for a “pause” for part of the state sales tax on diesel fuel for one year, plus an other $523 million to halt a scheduled increase in the state's gas tax this summer.
As of Wednesday, March 23, the average price of a gallon of gas in California is $5.85, according to AAA.
People who own electric vehicles or others that don't use gasoline would qualify. But most businesses with fleets of vehicles would not be eligible.
Newsom's plan must be approved by the Legislature. Democratic leaders already have said they don't support any proposal to temporarily halt an increase in the state's gas tax. And many Democrats don't like the idea of giving money to everyone, including millionaires and billionaires. They prefer targeting rebates to certain income levels.
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