A group of California lawmakers on Thursday announced a proposed $400 gas rebate for every state taxpayer amid record-high gas prices.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine) and several other lawmakers announced their proposal to use $9 billion of the state’s budget surplus to provide a $400 rebate to every California taxpayer.
They added that the rebate will more than cover the current 51.1-cent-per-gallon gas tax for one full year of weekly fill-ups for a car with a 15-gallon gas tank.
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Other lawmakers who are part of the proposal include Assembly members Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Jesse Gabriel, Adam Gray, Jacqui Irwin, Evan Low, Chad Mayes, Blanca Rubio, Sharon Quirk-Silva and Carlos Villapudua.
“Many Californians are feeling severe financial pain at the pump and looking to California’s leaders for help,” Petrie-Norris said in a statement. “We believe a rebate is the best approach to directly put money in people’s pockets.”
The group of lawmakers added that under their proposal, every California tax filer will receive a rebate including taxpayers who don’t own or drive a car.
As of Thursday, the average price for regular gas in California went up to $5.77 a gallon, up from $4.94 a week ago, according to the latest data from AAA.
Some people who NBC Bay Area spoke to Wednesday night had mixed reaction on the proposal.
“I don’t think it’s enough. I don’t think it’s enough money, especially in these hard times,” said Noah Pacheco of Pleasanton.
Meanwhile, California Republicans believe they tried to ease the pain by trying to get lawmakers to sign a bill that would suspend the gas tax for at least six months and it failed.
“I think this was a real missed opportunity for bipartisanship and working across the aisle to help every Californian in the state that is hurting from this,” said Matt Shupe, Contra Costa County Republican Party chair.
The gas rebate is only a proposal at this point. It will have to go through several committees and votes before anyone sees the money.