California Republicans Urge Newsom to Halt Gas Tax Hike


EXCLUSIVE — A group of House Republicans from California are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) to suspend the state’s annual gas tax increase as residents grapple with the nation’s highest gas prices.

In a letter sent to Newsom on Thursday, all 11 House Republicans from California urged him to suspend a pair of gas tax increases expected to hit the Golden State later this year: the annual gas tax increase, anticipated to begin in July, and another 47-cent increase due to recent Low Carbon Fuel Standard reforms. 

“Gov. Newsom has failed to provide relief at the pump for hard-working Californians struggling with rising costs,” Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), who spearheaded the letter, said in a statement. “My constituents are already paying the highest gas prices in the country, and the fact that our prices are about to go up even more because of the state’s policies is unacceptable. I am once again urging the governor to suspend the gas tax to lower prices for Central Valley families.”

Lawmakers expressed concern with the annual gas tax increase, arguing it would increase the existing gas tax by 60 cents. However, a spokesperson for Newsom disputed that characterization, pointing to an announcement from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration indicating excise tax rates would increase from 57.9 cents to 59.6 cents.

“This letter is filled with inaccuracies, like claiming the gas tax will increase prices by 60 cents on July 1, which is completely wrong. These members should take a better look at what they’re signing instead of just blindly doing what Big Oil interests want,” spokesman Alex Stack said. “Gas prices in California have been on the decline for five weeks straight.”

The letter comes as California’s gas prices reached an average of $5.15 per gallon for regular gas as of Thursday, making it the highest in the country, according to AAA. The second-highest is Hawaii with an average of $4.87, nearly 30 cents lower. 

California implements an annual gas tax increase over the summer. This year, it will be paired with a second expected gas tax increase in September due to low carbon fuel standard reforms by the California Air Resources Board. The board stated it could increase prices by 47 cents a gallon in 2025, up to 52 cents in 2026.

Valadao has previously called on Newsom to suspend the annual gas tax increase, sending similar letters to the governor over the last two years. However, those efforts have been unsuccessful. 

“For the past two years, we have urged you to suspend the gas tax, given the ongoing challenges faced by Californians that are forced to choose between filling their gas tanks and putting food on the table,” the letter states. “Our concerns have continued to be ignored while Californians suffer the consequences.”

Cami Mondeaux
Cami Mondeaux
Congressional Reporter. A Utah native, Cami graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City in 2021 and covered state government as a breaking news reporter for KSL News Radio.

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