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BOE Member George Runner

Gas Tax Hike Based on Guesswork

A 3.5 cent per gallon increase in California’s excise tax on gasoline takes effect July 1. As a result Californians will be forced to begin paying the highest gas taxes in the nation.

You have a right to be angry and demand explanation from your elected officials.

I too am upset and frustrated by this tax increase, which stems from a complicated law known as the ‘fuel tax swap.’

The goal of the fuel tax swap wasn’t good tax policy. Instead, its sole purpose was to allow the Legislature to move more than a billion dollars in gas tax revenues into the state’s General Fund.

I voted against the fuel tax swap. I also voted against the 3.5 cent per gallon rate increase that takes effect July 1.

Although the Board of Equalization must implement the law as written, a certain amount of discretion comes into play. Most of the July 1 increase is based on uncertain projections of future gas prices.

I don’t think we should be in the business of raising taxes based on guesswork.

A video of Runner questioning and voting ‘no’ on the gas tax hike is available at

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