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California's gas tax will likely increase

The gas tax is set to go up another 3 cents July 1, if lawmakers don't act by May 1 deadline.

SAN DIEGO — It’s looking more likely California will be raising its gas tax.

Governor Gavin Newsom proposed pausing California’s gas tax increase amid this year's soaring gas prices. California's current gas tax is about 51 cents per gallon. 

It's set to go up another 3 cents on July 1, if lawmakers don't act by May 1 deadline.

“Any increase in gas prices is not going to be welcome to California drivers however, there is a surplus in the state budget, so there is some room for the legislature to give some relief to drivers,” said Marie Montgomery, a spokesperson for the Auto Club of Southern California.

Lawmakers are considering sending $200 checks to each taxpayer who makes less than $125,000 per year. 

Meanwhile the Governor wants to send up to $800 to car owners.

"While these proposals are being considered, we do think it's important to make sure funding for transportation, roads, bridges and transportation is not reduced,” said Anlleyn Venegas, a spokesperson for AAA.

After a bill was signed into law in 2017, the gas tax goes up each year because of inflation. 

San Diego's average price per gallon was $5.74 on Thursday, according to AAA. An oil and gas analyst doesn’t expect gas prices to come down for months.

"It looks like these traders are speculating it's going to go on a while and whether it does is anybody's guess,” said Trey Cowan, an oil and gas analyst for Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “It appears we're going to have high prices for at least the next six months or so."

Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) sent the following statement to CBS 8 regarding the gas tax: 

“As we’ve said before, suspending the gas tax would reduce critical funds available for road repair and improvement projects. The Better for Families Rebate that the Legislature has proposed would provide the most meaningful relief to the most California families. We are continuing to work through the budget process to get financial help to Californians as quickly as possible.”

Without action from lawmakers, California’s gas tax increase is set to take effect July 1 and will put the tax around 54 cents per gallon.

WATCH RELATED: Gas prices taking toll on non-profits and driving away volunteers (April 2022)

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