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California car owners could get up to an $800 rebate

Gas Prices (FILE)
Posted at 1:55 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 16:16:57-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians who own cars could get up to $800 from the state to help offset record-high gas prices.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the proposal on Wednesday.

His plan calls for registered owners to get $400 per vehicle, capped at two cars. That includes people who own electric cars.



For people who don't have cars, Newsom wants the state to pay for their bus or train fare for three months.

“We’re taking immediate action to get money directly into the pockets of Californians who are facing higher gas prices as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Governor Newsom. “But this package is also focused on protecting people from volatile gas prices, and advancing clean transportation – providing three months of free public transportation, fast-tracking electric vehicle incentives and charging stations, and new funding for local biking and walking projects.”

In total, the proposal would cost $11 billion.

This package also provides $2 billion in broader relief including:

  • $750 million in incentive grants to transit and rail agencies to provide free transit for Californians for 3 months. As a result, roughly 3 million Californians per day who take the bus, subway, or light rail won’t have to pay a fare every time they ride.
  • Up to $600 million to pause a part of the sales tax rate on diesel for one year.
  • $523 million to pause the inflationary adjustment to gas and diesel excise tax rates.

The package also calls for $500 million in active transportation for projects that promote biking and walking throughout the state. Additionally, this proposal fast-tracks a $1.75 billion portion of the Governor’s historic $10 billion ZEV package to further reduce the state’s dependence on oil and save Californians money, including the investments in more ZEV passenger vehicles and building more charging infrastructure throughout the state – especially in low-income communities.

The tax refund will take the form of $400 debit cards for registered vehicle owners, and individuals will be eligible to receive up to two payments. An average California driver spends approximately $300 in gasoline excise tax over a year.

Regular grade gas is a state-record $5.88 per gallon in California, the highest in the nation.