Politics & Government

California’s latest gas tax increase is about to kick in. Here’s what you can expect.

Traveling by car this summer? Better budget more for gas.

Beginning July 1, California’s gas tax increases from 41.7 cents to 47.3 cents per gallon, a 5.6 cent increase in the price of fuel.

The tax increase is an annual adjustment to the tax the state applies to a gallon of gas. In 2016, Californians paid about 28 cents in state taxes for a gallon of gas.

The rate climbed by 12 cents per gallon in 2017 after the Legislature passed a 10-year tax and fee increase that aims to raise about $52 billion for transportation projects.

Last year, former Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration wanted to raise the rate by another 4 cents per gallon. The Board of Equalization, which had authority over fuel taxes, rejected the request.

The denial saved drivers a little money but created a $617 million hole in Brown’s state budget.

The Board of Equalization no longer has influence over motor vehicle gas taxes. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration gained that authority, and set the rate that is scheduled to take effect next month.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.