Los Angeles saw a Fourth of July record for gas prices just as the state’s new gas tax increase took effect.
The L.A. County average for regular grade gas was $6.285 per gallon on July Fourth, with the previous record high set in 2008 at $4.597 per gallon, according to prices recorded by the American Automobile Association.
The record price comes on the heels of California’s latest state gas increase, which activated a 2.8-cent increase per gallon on July 1.
The latest gas tax stems from a state senate bill passed in 2017. The Road Repair and Accountability Act was passed with the intention of investing $54 billion in California road, freeway and bridge repairs over the next 10 years.
Despite the new tax and July 4 holiday record high, average prices are gradually decreasing from the all-time high set on June 14 at $6.462 for regular grade fuel.
Efforts to decrease prices for consumers, by both Democrat and Republican state legislators, have fallen short as Republican leaders unsuccessfully called for a temporary suspension of all state gas taxes, which may have relieved up to 51 cents per gallon, and Democrat leaders unsuccessfully pitched a $400 gas rebate.
Governor Gavin Newson signed a general inflation-related executive order, where California single tax filers could receive between $200 and $350 checks, while some joint filers with dependents eligible for up to $1,050 payments from the state.
While not specific to car owners and gas consumption, as originally intended, the bill will send payments to an estimated 23 million Californians.
“Millions of Californians will be receiving up to $1,050 as part of a NEW middle class tax rebate,” Newsom said. “That’s more money in your pocket to help you fill your gas tank and put food on the table.”
On a federal level, President Joe Biden proposed a three-month gas tax holiday be embedded in his Build Back Better bill, which would suspend 18.4 cents of federal gas taxes per gallon.
As of this writing, two U.S. states, New York and Connecticut, have temporarily suspended gas taxes, with Connecticut suspending them until Nov. 30, and New York taking a tax holiday through the end of 2022.