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'People are suffering' | San Diego County Supervisors ask Gov. Newsom to suspend 51-cent gas tax for one year

Supervisors Desmond and Anderson are advocating for the state to use the budget surplus to fund a one-year suspension of the gas tax.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — San Diego County is the first county in the state to officially push for the suspension of gas taxes for one year. The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to send a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, asking for a suspension of the 51-cent per gallon state gas tax.

The board is also supporting the governor's proposed tax rebate to help with rising fuel costs. County Supervisors also want to ensure any sort of gas tax relief would have a mechanism in place to make sure oil companies don't raise prices to match the reductions at the pump.

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose Wednesday for the 22nd consecutive day, increasing 3.3 cents to a record $5.80.

Original story below:

San Diego County Supervisors Jim Desmond and Joel Anderson will introduce a letter Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting which proposes directing the county's chief administrative officer to urge the governor for a one-year suspension of the state gas tax in light of rising prices.

"People in my district are suffering from these outrageous gas prices," Anderson said. "No one should have to choose between paying their monthly bills and affording to put gas in their car, especially when the overwhelming majority of my constituents rely on motor vehicles and there is no feasible public transportation alternative."

According to the Supervisors -- the two Republicans on the legally nonpartisan board -- the state has a $45 billion surplus. According to California's Legislative Analyst Office, 15% of that surplus could be used to lower gas prices across the state by 51 cents per gallon and still fund road infrastructure projects. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in San Diego County was $5.766 as of Monday morning.

"The gas tax is affecting everyone. No matter your political leaning, we should all be able to come together to lower gas prices," Desmond said. "By supporting this proposal, we can find a solution to the increasing financial burdens experienced by San Diego's residents and businesses.

"Supervisor Anderson and I represent a large portion of the unincorporated area, which requires our constituents to drive more than others. We must do whatever we can to help them," Desmond said.

Desmond and Anderson are advocating for the state to use the budget surplus to fund a one-year suspension of the gas tax.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Residents can use the online form to submit an eComment, or may call in to the board meeting during agenda item 22.

The Board of Supervisors meeting comes a day after California Republican lawmakers didn't get enough votes to suspend the rules to move forward with their gas tax holiday bill.

They needed 54 votes and only got 18. Legislative Republicans called for the immediate suspension of California's 51-cent per gallon gas tax in response to record-high gas prices.

"To cut the state gas tax in its entirety, that'll save Californians 51 cents a gallon," said Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R). "Now, that's not going to bring gas prices down to reasonable levels by any stretch of the imagination. But it'll help."

The Republican leaders said they would be open to supporting Governor Gavin Newsom's gas tax rebate in the future, but only in addition to the gas tax holiday. They said the holiday is an immediate relief to millions of people at the pump.  

WATCH RELATED: Republican lawmakers attempt to push gas tax pause

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