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East County News Service

March 21, 2022 (San Diego) - On March 15, 2022, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a Board Letter introduced by Supervisors Jim Desmond (District 5) and Joel Anderson (District 2). The purpose of this Board Letter was to direct the Chief Administrative Officer to urge the Governor and State Legislature to suspend the State gas tax for one year.

The Board of Supervisors  also agreed to support a proposed State-funded gas tax rebate and to support efforts to ensure that oil companies lower gas prices by the same amount as the gas tax reduction, so consumers receive the full benefits of these efforts.

In Sacramento, both parties agree that consumers need relief from rising gas prices fueled largely by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the parties have differed on how best to provide help to motorists. Republicans have advocated for a suspension of the state gas tax. But Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic leaders are pushing for a direct rebate to consumers, limited to California vehicle owners.

“I am thankful to my Board colleagues for supporting our proposal to advocate for a gas tax suspension,” shared Anderson. He added, “These outrageous gas prices are not fair for the thousands of residents in my district who have no other options but to use their vehicles daily.”

“I’m thrilled that San Diego County has become the first County in the State of California to push for the suspension of the Gas Tax! Today's unanimous vote sends a strong message to Governor Newsom and Sacramento politicians that San Diegans are tired of paying record gas prices,” said Supervisor Jim Desmond. “This money belongs to the taxpayers and we should be all we can to put it back in their pockets.”

Currently, there is a $45 billion surplus in the State budget. According to the State's Legislative Analyst Office, using 15% of this surplus (or roughly $6.8 billion) can lower gas prices across the State by 51 cents per gallon and still fund all the road infrastructure projects that money is slated for.

The County will advocate for the State to use this budget surplus to fund a one-year suspension of the gas tax. This will lower fuel costs for consumers while ensuring that California’s roads and infrastructure are still maintained. While this is a temporary solution to a larger issue, Supervisors Anderson and Desmond believe it will make a big impact on quality of life for Californians everywhere.

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