State Lawmakers Consider Gas Tax Hike In New Budget Plan

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 12, 2009

Under the latest plan to fix California’s deficit, the state gas tax could go up 12 cents a gallon. 

(sound of a man pumping gasoline)

Steve Wall pumps gas into his SUV at a service station in West Sacramento.  He’s a musician and drives back and forth a few times a week to play gigs in Nevada and San Francisco.  Wall says he’s not happy lawmakers may vote in favor of a gas tax hike…

“We finally got the gas prices back down a little  bit and it has definitely made a difference and now it looks just like they’re trying to grab it back…”

Tupper Hull with the Western States Petroleum Association says Californians already are paying the third highest gas tax in the nation… 

“So every time you fill up at a gas station you’re paying about 54-cents a gallon in state and federal taxes…”  
Hull says only New York and Washington State pay more in gas tax.  And, analysts say with gas prices on the rise again…Californians will probably drive less sending fewer revenues to state coffers. Democratic Senate leader Darrell Steinberg says the scope of the budget crisis requires shared sacrifice.