SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the details of his gas rebate proposal Wednesday, which includes $400 direct payments for car owners who have vehicles registered in California.
The governor made the announcement in a press release Wednesday, estimating the program would cost $11 billion total, with $9 billion of it being used for the rebates.
The program would provide the funds through debit cards, and each individual would be eligible to receive up to two payments. For families with more than one vehicle, payments would be capped at two vehicles.
Newsom’s office estimates the average California driver spends about $300 on gasoline excise tax in a year.
The proposal does not have an income requirement and eligibility for the proposal would be based on vehicle registration, not tax records.
The governor’s proposal also includes: $523 million to pause the inflationary adjustment to gas and diesel taxes in California; $600 million to pause a part of the sales tax on diesel for one year; and $750 million in grants to incentivize rail agencies to provide free transit for Californians for three months. Newsom estimates about 3 million Californians could ride for free this way.
Newsom’s administration will meet with the State Legislature to negotiate the details of the proposal in the coming days, his office said Wednesday.
Newsom’s office said if approved, the first payments could be distributed as soon as July.
In response, Republicans said that is not soon enough.
“Now, in March. That’s when people are feeling the pain is in the present. It’s so hard for people to get by in California these days. We already had the highest cost of living in the nation. Now with inflation being felt in all facets of people’s lives, having to pay is putting a lot of people close to the edge,” said Assemblymember Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin.
Republicans said they will again try to force a vote to suspend the gas tax on Thursday.