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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "gas tax"

California gas tax makes state’s gas $1 more per gallon than the national average

Westlake Legal Group California-gas California gas tax makes state’s gas $1 more per gallon than the national average The Blog gasoline gas tax California

A new gas tax went into effect in California today which helped make California’s gas cost $1 more per gallon than the national average. From CNBC:

California’s already-high gas prices jumped up again on July 1, with a new 5.6 cents per gallon gasoline tax hike.

The increase brings the average price per gallon in California for regular gasoline to a national high of $3.755 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association, more than a dollar a gallon more than the national average of $2.717 per gallon.

The hike takes California’s total statewide gas tax up to 47.3 cents per gallon, according to the state’s Department of Tax and Fee administration.

That doesn’t include local sales tax which is around 2% plus a federal gas tax of 18 cents. Also, those are the prices for regular gas. Premium costs an average of 25 cents more per gallon, making it just over $4 in California on average.

The new gas tax was put in place two years ago to raise $5.2 billion for road repairs in the state. Last year there was an attempt to repeal the tax but it didn’t pass.

I happen to have a friend who is leaving California for good this week. I spent part of the day Sunday visiting with him and saying goodbye. He sold his townhouse near the beach and will be moving to Florida where his new home is bigger, newer, and costs about 1/3 what his current home in CA just sold for.

My friend made a pitch that I should also consider leaving the state at some point. He pointed out that in addition to the more reasonable cost of real estate, Florida doesn’t have a state income tax. Also, the cost of electricity is substantially less than it is in California. That’s especially important for him because he owns an electric car. Just by moving he’ll wind up saving a considerable amount of money. He compared what is happening here to the old story about how to boil a frog, i.e. you keep turning the heat up slowly so the frog doesn’t jump out.

That’s pretty much what’s happening here in this one-party state. The cost of everything keeps going up but always a little at a time. Today it will be up 5.6 cents per gallon. Here’s an LA area news report on the increase:

The post California gas tax makes state’s gas $1 more per gallon than the national average appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group California-gas-300x159 California gas tax makes state’s gas $1 more per gallon than the national average The Blog gasoline gas tax California  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Chris Collins (R): Here’s an idea. Let’s double the gas tax and airline fees

Westlake Legal Group chris-collins-r-heres-an-idea-lets-double-the-gas-tax-and-airline-fees Chris Collins (R): Here’s an idea. Let’s double the gas tax and airline fees The Blog tax hikes stimulus Infrastructure gas tax Chris Collins

Westlake Legal Group collins Chris Collins (R): Here’s an idea. Let’s double the gas tax and airline fees The Blog tax hikes stimulus Infrastructure gas tax Chris Collins

So the President is shopping around the idea of a massive infrastructure bill. In fact, if you were following him on Twitter this morning he was talking it up once again.

Just one to two trillion, eh? Easy come, easy go, I suppose. But how do we plan on paying for this massive investment? Never fear. New York Congressman Chris Collins (R) took time out from preparing for his insider trading trial to offer a suggestion. We’ll just double the gas tax and let all of the little people pay for it! (The Hill)

A Trump ally on Capitol Hill is calling for the doubling of the federal gas tax and airline fees in order to pay for the $2 trillion infrastructure package being negotiated by President Trump and Democratic leaders.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) is urging Congress to double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax, which has not been raised in more than a quarter century. He also wants to double the existing fee that airline passengers pay per flight.

“I not only support increasing the gas tax; I support doubling it. I support doubling the airline passenger fee from $4.50 to $8 or $9. Those are user fees. I won’t even call it a tax,” Collins told The Hill in an interview after Trump and Democratic leaders agreed Tuesday to try to fund a $2 trillion bill to improve the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Look, I understand the need for some infrastructure improvements. The need certainly exists, particularly when it comes to interstate bridge inspections and repairs or smartening up our nation’s power grid. Those are big projects and they require a lot of funding. But even if the President has an “ally” in Chris Collins, that’s not the sort of friend he needs whispering in his ear right now.

It’s bad enough that spending has been out of control under this administration every bit as much as during Obama’s tenure, if not more. The fact that we didn’t manage to work some serious spending cuts into the package when the tax cuts went through remains a burr under the conservative saddle. But if we’re going to keep spending like a sailor during Fleet Week and your only idea as to how to pay for it is to raise taxes, precisely how is the GOP different from the Democrats at that point? A tax and spend policy smells just as odious by any other name.

Also, Donald Trump owes his 2016 victory to the support he received from working-class voters. And that’s precisely who gets hit the hardest when you start jacking up the gas tax. It’s easier to talk about an increase in the gas tax when gas prices are low, as they are now. But history should have taught us by now that those low gas prices won’t last forever. And you know what will last forever? The gas tax. Once you raise a tax, it’s a rare day when it gets lowered back to previous levels.

This is just one more sign that we ought to be thinking about a primary opponent for Collins. If he’s not going to resign and trigger a special election for a less damaged candidate, his trial may drag on for so long that we’re once again at risk of losing a safe GOP seat in New York. If he’s going to spend his days proposing tax increases, that should make the need for such action even more urgent.

The post Chris Collins (R): Here’s an idea. Let’s double the gas tax and airline fees appeared first on Hot Air.

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California governor wonders why gas prices are so high in state with high gas taxes

Westlake Legal Group Newsom California governor wonders why gas prices are so high in state with high gas taxes The Blog governor Gavin Newsom gas tax gas prices California

California Governor Gavin Newsom has noticed something amiss in his home state and by gosh, he wants some answers. What is that’s put a bee under his bonnet? Gas prices in the Golden State are too high and people are grousing about it. People who vote. So the Governor is swooping into action, determined to solve this vexing mystery. (LA Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to know why California’s gasoline prices are higher than in the rest of the country, blaming potential “inappropriate industry practices” Tuesday rather than the state’s higher taxes and tougher environmental regulations.

Newsom asked the California Energy Commission for an analysis of the state’s gas prices by May 15. California drivers were paying an average of $4.03 a gallon Tuesday, or $1.18 more than the national average, according to AAA.

Higher taxes, along with a combination of tougher gas standards and environmental regulations, normally account for about 70 cents of that difference, said Gordon Schremp, a senior fuels specialist with the California Energy Commission. But the rest is a mystery.

So gasoline in California is averaging just over four dollars per gallon these days. That’s considerably higher than the national average of $2.88 (according to the AAA) and even further above the low price of $2.51, you’ll pay in Alabama this week. Do you suppose that the taxes might have something to do with it? After all, California has the second highest state gas tax in the country at 55.5 cents per gallon. (Second only to Pennsylvania.)

But that’s not the only factor. California also places demands on the industry in terms of blending and testing that make it more expensive to ship gasoline into the state and legally sell it. That’s why the total state-imposed fees add up to something closer to 70 cents per gallon.

And yet, taxes alone don’t tell the whole story. If they did, how would we explain Alaska? They have the lowest gas tax in the country at only 14.7 cents per gallon, but the sixth most expensive gasoline at $3.36. On the other end of the scale, you see states like Florida. They have the tenth highest gas tax in the country at 41.4 cents per gallon and yet they have one of the lowest average gasoline costs, coming in at $2.70.

How does that work? Well, it’s because there are more factors in determining how much a gallon of gas costs to produce and bring to market than just the cost of a barrel of oil that week. Different states set different quality and testing standards, as mentioned above. On top of that, thanks to the Renewable Fuel Standard, refineries have to either blend ethanol into your gas or pay for RIN credits. Those costs are added into the formula.

But you also have to ship the gasoline from the refinery where it’s made to the gas station where you fill up your tank. The further you are away from a refinery, the more it costs. Not coincidentally, the irony in Alaska’s situation is that their state is where a vast amount of oil and natural gas is extracted from the Earth, but virtually none of it is processed there. So they’re paying to ship that oil down to the lower 48 and then ship it back north in the form of gasoline.

The point is, none of this is a mystery that should be puzzling Gavin Newsom all that much. The vast majority of the extra cost for gasoline in his state comes from the taxes and fees they impose, along with more stringent regulations of the product. If he wants cheaper gas he needs to lower those costs. Otherwise, bite the bullet and pony up a bit more, Californians. You keep electing these taxaholics year after year and these are the results you get for it.

The post California governor wonders why gas prices are so high in state with high gas taxes appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group Newsom-300x153 California governor wonders why gas prices are so high in state with high gas taxes The Blog governor Gavin Newsom gas tax gas prices California  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Genius Gavin Newsom Can’t Figure Out Why Gas Costs So Much in California

Westlake Legal Group newsom-stanford-620x353 Genius Gavin Newsom Can’t Figure Out Why Gas Costs So Much in California Gavin Newsom gas tax gas prices Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Post Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

California’s newest policy wonk, Stuffed Shirt Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Duh) has tasked the California Energy Commission with analyzing why the state’s gas prices – now averaging over $4/gallon – are so d**n high.

In his letter requesting the analysis, Newsom conveniently ignored the “Gas Tax” passed by the legislature in 2016 and the effect of cap-and-trade, costs of producing CARB gasoline (the unique blends state regulations require), and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard as possible reasons for the price increase and suggested something more nefarious.

“Independent analysis suggests that an unaccounted-for price differential exists in California’s gas prices and that this price differential may stem in part from inappropriate industry practices. These are all important reasons for the Commission to help shed light on what’s going on in our gasoline market.”

Shed light??

One of Newsom’s cronies, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), supported Newsom’s directive, telling reporters:

“This mystery surcharge happens between the refinery and retail purchase by the consumer. This is a punitive, abusive practice that Californians are paying.”

Though government-funded “independent” researchers claim this “mystery surcharge” has cost Californians $20 billion over an unspecified period of time, the Western States Petroleum Association pointed the finger right back at California’s always-dollar-hungry politicians.

“Over the past several decades, fuel costs in California have been subject to dozens of independent inquiries by government agencies, all of which concluded the dynamics of supply and demand are responsible for movements in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel.”

Sadly for Californians, more of their tax dollars are going to be wasted attempting to disprove the laws of supply and demand at the behest of a governor whose understanding of economics rivals that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The post Genius Gavin Newsom Can’t Figure Out Why Gas Costs So Much in California appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group newsom-stanford-300x171 Genius Gavin Newsom Can’t Figure Out Why Gas Costs So Much in California Gavin Newsom gas tax gas prices Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Post Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

I bet you thought those riots in France were over

Westlake Legal Group YellowVests I bet you thought those riots in France were over yellow vests wages The Blog riots Paris gas tax french protests France Emmanuel Macron

After much of November and December were characterized by riots in Paris and various other cities across France, it looked as if peace was going to be restored when President Emmanuel Macron completely caved to the protesters’ demands. A new, drastic increase in the gas tax was scrapped and higher wages for the working poor were announced. Having put the elitist president in his place, the angry rabble were then free to go home and take a victory lap.

The problem is, they didn’t. Or at least not all of them. Significant numbers of the unhappy citizenry were back in the streets this week, setting fire to government buildings and clashing with the police. One common element in their demands appears to be a desire for Macron to resign immediately. (Associated Press)

French security forces fired tear gas and flash-balls after a march through picturesque central Paris went from peaceful to provocative Saturday as several thousand protesters staged the yellow vest movement’s first action of 2019 to keep up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron.

A river boat restaurant moored below the clashes on the Left Bank of the Seine River caught fire. Smoke and tear gas wafted above the Orsay Museum and the gold dome of the French Academy as riot police, nearly invisible at the start of the demonstration, moved front and center when protesters deviated from an officially approved path.

Police boats patrolled the river while beyond the Seine, motorcycles and a car were set on fire on the Boulevard Saint Germain, a main Left Bank thoroughfare. Riot police and firefighters moved in, and barricades mounted in the middle of the wide street also glowed in orange flames.

Since we tend to see these terms used interchangeably in the media too often, I should point out that these aren’t actually “protests” going on in Paris. They are riots. Whether you agree with the sentiments of the yellow vest squads or not, a protest is just a demonstration. These people are setting fire to boats and buildings, smashing windows and, in at least one case, attacking the police. That’s a riot by any meaningful definition.

Another thing that’s missing from much of the American press coverage I’m seeing is the outrage over the police using tear gas and pepper spray on a regular basis. Aren’t those “chemical weapons” and a violation of human rights? But I suppose when it happens in France in support of a socialist leader who is a liberal icon, it’s just the way the world works.

What’s unclear here is precisely what the yellow vests are looking to get out of the government. The original gatherings all seemed to focus on the gas tax, skyrocketing prices for food and common goods and insufficient pay. Macron has already given in on all of these demands. But the rioters are now calling for his resignation, claiming that he is a “president for the rich” and doesn’t care about the working class poor. That may be true, but it seems unlikely that Macron will be packing his bags anytime soon.

Macron isn’t facing any new elections until 2022, so he’s got some time to patch things up if he’s willing. Will the tenacity of the yellow vests last that long? If the president’s reforms are rolled back and wages go up it’s hard to imagine that they will. But he’s definitely no longer the golden child and his public honeymoon is definitely over. Just as a closing note, Macron’s approval ratings have tanked from above 60 after his election to somewhere in the 20s today.

The post I bet you thought those riots in France were over appeared first on Hot Air.

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