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Fuel taxes set to rise, become highest in the nation

Posted: February 28, 2013 6:34 p.m.
Updated: February 28, 2013 6:34 p.m.

Californians’ pain at the pump may get a little more potent after members of the state Board of Equalization voted Thursday to raise the state’s fuel tax by 3.5 cents per gallon.

Once the increase goes into effect July 1, Californians will pay an average of 70.6 cents per gallon in combined local, state and federal taxes, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

This figure is the highest in the nation, with New York coming in second place with 69 cents per gallon in total taxes.
By comparison, the state with the lowest amount of gas taxes is Alaska, with total taxes of 26.4 cents a gallon.

The increase was approved by a 3-2 vote with board member and former state Sen. George Runner voting against it.

“I cannot support a more-than-half-a-billion-dollar tax increase on struggling Californians,” Runner said Thursday.

Under California law, the Board of Equalization reviews excise tax levels by March 1 each year.

California collected a record-high $8.3 billion in fuel taxes during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to the Board of Equalization.

Since the fiscal year ends June 30, that amount does not include data from September or October, when the average price of gasoline was the highest recorded in state history.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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