Governor Newsom Proposes $11 billion relief package for Californians facing higher gas prices

March 24, 2022 /

In response to the rising prices of gas in California,  Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the details of his proposal to deliver $11 billion in relief to Californians facing record-high gas prices, a news release said.

If the proposal goes into effect, registered vehicle owners in California will be eligible for at least $400 per vehicle, totaling $9 billion in direct payments to millions of Californians, according to a news release. The proposal also includes $2 billion in relief for free public transportation for three months. Lastly, the proposal includes $500 million to support active transportation programs, like walking and biking projects and fast-tracks Newsom’s $10 billion ZEV package to get more Californians into clean vehicles faster, build charging stations
“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 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.”
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.
The proposal provides up to two $400 rebates per vehicle, for owners to support families with more than one vehicle in use. Eligibility will be based on vehicle registration, not tax records, in order to include seniors who receive Social Security Disability income and low-income non-tax filers. The Governor’s proposal does not have an income cap in order to include all Californians who are facing higher prices due to the cost of oil. 
The Newsom administration will meet with the Legislature to negotiate the details of the proposal in the coming days. Once approved through the Legislature, the first payments could begin as soon as July. 
Governor Newsom has allocated billions of dollars in direct relief to Californians over the past two years, including $12 billion in direct checks through the Golden State Stimulus, $5.2 billion in rent relief, and $2 billion in utility relief. Since 2019, the Administration and Legislature have added significant expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit, including expanding the credit to taxpayers with ITINs, expanding the credit to every Californian working full time at minimum wage, and adding the Young Child Tax Credit. Additionally, the Governor’s historic $37.6 billion climate package provides the resources needed to forge an oil-free future and bolster the state’s clean energy economy.