Assemblyman Vince Fong leads opposition to gas tax increase

Posted at 1:46 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 16:49:13-04

Assemblyman Fong Leads Opposition to Gas Tax Increase in Light of new Cap-and-Trade Cost Identified by the Legislative Analyst Office

SACRAMENTO-Today, Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County), who is Vice Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, released a memo from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office identifying the potential impact of cap-and-trade on gasoline prices beyond 2020.  

Specifically, the LAO points out that "cap-and-trade would raise gas prices by an estimated 63 cents per gallon in 2021, increasing to 73 cents per gallon in 2031."  This cost increase for consumers would be in addition to any attempt to increase the gas tax this week.

"When considering and evaluating the transportation funding package, we cannot look at gas taxes in a vacuum," said Assemblyman Fong. "This legislature is also seeking to extend cap-and-trade, which will significantly increase the cost of gas at the pump, which combined with the proposed gas tax, could be about $1 dollar per gallon for motorists. California continues to become more unaffordable because of decisions made in Sacramento, and hardworking Californians are bearing the burden."

The LAO memo was provided to Assemblyman Fong in response to specific questions he posed to the LAO and the California Air Resources Board during an Assembly Budget Sub 3 (Natural Resources and Transportation) hearing couple weeks ago.  The LAO used the cap-and-trade allowance price scenarios from the administration's regulatory analysis document to determine the additional costs borne by consumers under these allowance price scenarios.

"When the cost of fuel increases, the cost of food, services, and products will also increase.  Middle and working class families are already struggling to afford to live in California, so a regressive gas tax combined with an additional spike to fuel prices would only exacerbate the costs of living and working in our state," said Fong.  "These are very real potential consequences, and I urge my colleagues to honestly consider all these high cost burdens they will be imposing on their constituents, especially in light of these cap-and-trade costs."

The Governor provided a self-imposed deadline of April 6 for the state legislature to pass Senate Bill 1, which is the transportation package put forth by the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate President pro Tempore.