What Californians need to know about Newsom's gas rebate proposal
LOS ANGELES - California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a proposal Wednesday to help Californians battling the highest gas prices in the US., including up to $800 to all drivers in the state, as well as a plan to make public transit temporarily free.
California’s average gas prices hit a new state record Wednesday at $5.88 per gallon, more than $2 higher than it was a year ago, according to AAA. California has the second-highest gas tax in the country at 51 cents per gallon.
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Newsom’s plan is similar to a separate proposal floated last week by more moderate Democrats in the state Assembly that would give every taxpayer $400, regardless of income.
Here's what you need to know.
Am I eligible?
Yes, if you are a registered driver.
Eligibility will be based on vehicle registration, not tax records, according to the governor's office, and will not have an income cap.
How much can I get?
Drivers will be eligible for $400 per vehicle, up to two vehicles per person, which adds up to $800.
What form of payment will it be?
The rebate will come in the form of a debit card.
When will I get it?
Newsom will meet with state legislators to negotiate the details of the proposal in the next few days, the governor’s office said Wednesday.
If approved by the legislature, the first debit card payments for registered drivers could be distributed as soon as July.
What if I have more than one car?
Each registered owner can claim up to two cars.
Does this apply to electric cars?
Electric vehicles will also be included.
Will I still get money if I don't have a car?
For people who don’t have cars, Newsom wants the state to pay for their bus or train fare for three months. His proposal would give $750 million to transit and rail agencies, which Newsom said would be enough to give free rides to 3 million people per day.
What else is included?
Another $2 billion will go towards other things such as free public transportation for three months; a pause on inflation adjustments to gas and diesel excise tax rates; and incentives to prioritize biking and walking projects throughout the state, to name a few.
Another $600 million would pay for a "pause" for part of the state sales tax on diesel fuel for one year, plus another $523 million to halt a scheduled increase in the state’s gas tax this summer.
More information on the plan is available on the governor’s website.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.