Yesterday, Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairwoman Diane Harkey led the “no” votes against increasing California’s gas tax. The proposed gas tax increase comes after the passage of Senate Bill 1, and the increased costs to gas from the state Cap and Trade program.
Harkey led the opposition stating, “I have never voted for a tax increase on gasoline on my constituents. It hurts them and it hurts the working people of our state. And so I declined to do so today.”
“The state currently has a budget surplus, but if the Legislature wants to raise gas taxes again they can do so,” Harkey concluded.
The staff analysis recommended the Board set the excise tax rate on motor vehicle fuel for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, at 33.7 cents per gallon. The rate last year of 29 cents per gallon would have increased to 33.7 cents per gallon under the proposed recommendation.
Since 2010, under the “fuel tax swap,” state law has required the Board to adjust the tax rate by March 1 of each year.
The 2-2 Board vote defeated the gas tax increase with bipartisan support.
Read more about the fuel tax swap here:
Chairwoman Diane L. Harkey was elected to the Board of Equalization in November 2014 to represent the Fourth Equalization District, which includes approximately 9.5 million Californians located in Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, and a portion of San Bernardino Counties. Previously, Ms. Harkey served in the California State Assembly from 2008 to 2014. As a Member of the State Assembly, she served as Vice Chair for the Assembly Committees on Revenue and Taxation and Appropriations. Ms. Harkey graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine.