Republican California lawmakers call for immediate suspension of gas tax

Saying consumers need immediate relief and because the state of California already has a $65 billion budget surplus, Sacramento legislative Republicans demanded an immediate suspension of the state gas tax on Monday.

"Let's give the consumers a break that we can do right now," said Republican leader, Assemblyman James Gallagher. The press conference started out by demanding a straight-up floor vote to immediately eliminate California's 51.1 cent gas tax, saying it's a tiny fraction of the state's $65 billion surplus without stopping road building and repairs.

"This is making so much more difficult for hard-working Californians," said bill sponsor Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, (R) Sacramento.  

"I hope that it's something that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will take seriously. Californians need you to put partisanship aside," said Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, (R) Santa Clarita.    

Then, what was started by the international spike in crude oil prices, immediately became partisan. This added burden, which is borne by Californians alone, is not the result of international political events," said Assemblyman Kiley. They blame President Biden and Governor Newsom for poor energy policies and suggested an alternative. "Begin immediately extracting and refining California oil," said Senator Brian Jones. (R) San Diego.

But California's pain at the pump is very real; up over two dollars a gallon in one month; San Francisco has America's highest at $5.79, essentially two bucks higher than Tulsa, Oklahoma. Also awful, according to AAA, diesel is $5.13 a gallon nationwide, $2.05 higher than a year ago. California's truckers have it even worse at $6.29 a gallon, $2.30 more than last year. The average semi gets just 7 miles a gallon.

SEE ALSO: California gas prices jump to record high

Semi-trucks hold between 150 to 300 gallons of diesel. Depending on tank size at the national average diesel price, a fill up now costs between costs $780 and $1560, way more than the $463 and $927 this time last year.

So, a round trip to Chicago regardless of the size of the tank would cost the trucker about $3,100 just for fuel.  All that gets tacked on the price of the goods inside those trailers and you're paying for it.

Tom Vacar is a reporter for KTVU. Email Tom at or call him at 510-874-0393.