I wanted to give you the latest news as gas prices continue to rise across San Diego County. At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Anderson and I initiated action, unanimously approved by the Board, to send a letter to State lawmakers for a one-year suspension of the state gas tax.
We also voted to support a rebate program and encourage the state to find a mechanism to ensure the savings are passed down to the consumers, not oil companies.
The State projects a budget surplus of more than $45 billion. This should come back to California's taxpayers, struggling with the increased costs of living.
The message was received in Sacramento as assemblymembers have now proposed a gas rebate program, which will send $400 to each taxpayer in California. I think this is a great first step, as anytime we can put taxpayer dollars back in the pockets of the taxpayers, it's a good thing. San Diegans have been overpaying for gas, for years, and people should be getting that money back!
The problem is, the gas rebate program may take months (if passed) before people start to receive the money. Many San Diegans are hurting today and, while the rebate is a nice start, I would like to see the gas tax suspended immediately to ease the financial burden for everyone. There's no reason we can't do both.
I'm pleased to see other counties in California following suit, including the Orange County Supervisors who unanimously approved a similar measure. Maryland and Georgia have also paused the collection of their state gas taxes and have seen prices drop for consumers.
Also, many small businesses are hurting from the rising gas prices. Plumbers, landscapers, farmers, and many other jobs rely on driving and while the rebate program will help, the suspension of the gas tax for one year, I believe will be a bigger benefit.
I just wanted to give you an update as it's imperative we find ways to help those struggling to afford the basic needs. I will keep you updated on our progress and as always, if you ever need anything, don't hesitate to reach out, [email protected].