New gas tax: Californians now pay more at the pump

Starting Monday, Californians will be paying more at the gas pump as a new gas tax goes into effect. The price of gas will jump more than five cents a gallon. Drivers in the state could be paying an estimated $4 to $5 more a month.

"Wow, I already thought it was increased there you go," said Infini Ford of Oakland. "I'm happy I'm filling up now. I'm going to grab my other two cars and fill that up too."

The latest increase is part of a 2017 law. Voters last year shot down an effort to repeal it. The bump comes on top of a 12 cent a gallon tax from two years ago.

"It's ridiculous," said Andrew Carriere of Alameda. "I'm going to get me a foot-pedal unleaded bicycle if they keep that up."

The higher gas taxes are expected to bring in about $5 billion a year for roads and mass transit, split between local and state governments.

Randy Rentschler, with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, said the tax is necessary.

"What you are going to have is a car repair bill versus a gas tax bill," said Rentschler. "The car repair bills are way more expensive than paying a few more pennies at the pump."

Many drivers said they wouldn't mind paying a little more if the potholes go away. So far, they haven't seen much improvements.

"Let's a picture of the roads," said Michael Edwards of San Francisco. "Go over to Oakland, I swear some of the streets you don't want to go up and down."

Critics said the tax will hurt low-income families, ride-sharing drivers, and commuters like Julian Thompson who drives from Pittsburg to Alameda every day.

"That's going to suck up a lot of money," said Thompson. "Just don't know what to do but roll with the punch."

Many drivers understand they don't have much of a choice but to pay up and budget more.

"What are you going to do? Get a hybrid, get a bicycle, get a grocery cart," said Edwards.

"It's the Bay Area," said Ford. "I guess it's expected of course something else, we have to pay higher prices for," said Ford.

In 2016, Californians were paying 28 cents per gallon. In the past three years, the gas tax has almost doubled and gas prices will continue to increase in the future to adjust for inflation.