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The Socialist War on Gasoline Dirty Little Secret: How California Leads the Nation in Dramatically Spiking Prices and Creating Economic Pain and Suffering.

Craig HueyCalifornia, Gasoline, Government, Congress, and Politics 2 Comments

California is at war with the oil industry.

Not because the oil industry has done anything bad, but because it’s a popular myth that the socialist Democrats spread that the oil companies are making excessive profits at the expense of the average person, and they need to be punished and stopped.

Even though there’s no evidence, and it’s not true, simply by saying it over and over, they’re making the general public think it’s true.

Just like the Russia hoax, the Hunter Biden laptop denials, and the FBI/Twitter deception.

What both the federal government and the California state government aren’t telling you is why gas prices are so much higher in California and some other states than in others.

And nobody is telling you how much of the cost of each gallon of gas you buy is going to the federal and state governments.

Let’s face it — high gasoline prices and car registration fees hurt us all…

The poor and middle class suffer the most.

Even those who ride public transportation face higher fares due to increased fuel costs.

But fuel price increases also impact every business and every consumer… as the increasing costs of transportation — which add to the cost of production — are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for everything you buy.

The dirty little secret is how much you pay to the government for each gallon of gas you buy.

The federal government’s gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel.

But that’s just the beginning…

Each state plus the District of Columbia adds its own taxes — ranging from 14.4 cents per gallon in Alaska to 58.7 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania… and some counties and cities add additional taxes on top of the state taxes.

California’s state gasoline taxes and fees — totaling $1.03 for every gallon of gas you buy — are by far the highest in the nation. But this outrageous amount doesn’t include the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax or the state sales tax on the price of gasoline at the pump — which includes sales tax on the federal, state and local taxes!

Currently the sales tax is about 14.4 cents per gallon for gasoline purchased in California.

In addition, California’s switch to summer blend adds 10 — 15 cents per gallon due to the higher cost of refining and production.

Here’s the breakdown of gasoline taxes and fees per gallon in California:

  • The excessive taxes on gas
  • 18.4 cents – federal excise tax
  • 54.1 cents – state gas tax
  • 25 cents – Cap and Trade fee (estimate)
  • 22 cents – Low Carbon Fuel Standard fee (estimate)
  • 2 cents – underground storage fee
  • 14.4 cents – state sales tax (varies with price of gas at the pump)
  • 10 – 15 cents – summer blend price add-on between April 1 and October 1

Prices fluctuate weekly. You can check the latest information on state and national average prices and trends.

California has the highest gasoline prices in the nation for several reasons:

  • California does not allow drilling or fracking for oil.
  • California refuses to allow the construction of new refineries. In fact, the state is closing down existing refineries.
  • California is a net importer of oil — even though it has more oil than any other state.
  • The state legislature requires that only a special blend of low-emission gasoline is sold in California between April 1 and October 1 every year.

On November 1st, 2017, California’s then-Governor Jerry Brown — supported by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom — signed Senate Bill 1, which substantially increased vehicle registration fees as well as state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

SB1 also includes a provision to automatically increase state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel every year on July 1st based on the inflation rate on that date.

In 2017, 14.86 million automobiles were registered in California — more than 6.5 million more than in Texas (8.177 million) or Florida (7.778 million).

The number of fees included when registering a car in California is mind-boggling.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Registration Fee
  • California Highway Patrol (CHP) Fees
  • Transportation Improvement Fee (TIF)
  • Vehicle License Fee (VLF) – 0.65% of car’s value
  • Miscellaneous Registration and Service Fees

Then there are County/District Fees that vary based on where you live:

  • Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies Fee (SAFE)
  • Air Quality Fee
  • Auto Theft Deterrence/DUI Fee
  • Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Fee
  • Fingerprint ID Fee
  • County Transportation Project Fee (CTPF)

These are all hidden fees collected by the California DMV that don’t show up on a registration renewal notice.

No wonder California total vehicle registration costs are the highest in the nation!

One other note: The Transportation Improvement Fee (TIF) is used to repair infrastructure and provide road maintenance. The state also receives billions of dollars annually for road maintenance and infrastructure from:

  • The 18.4-cent federal excise tax on every gallon of gasoline sold in the state
  • The highway funds portion of California property taxes

Here is where the roughly $16 billion in California gas taxes and vehicle fees supposedly goes:

  • Highway repairs, maintenance and public transit (buses and trains) – 59%
  • Enforcement and regulation (DMV, California Highway Patrol) – 22%
  • Local law enforcement, General Fund, Dept. of Food and Agriculture, Dept of Parks and Recreation – 7%
  • Debt service – 7.5%
  • Administration (includes costs of collecting, distributing and auditing gas taxes and fees) — 3%
  • Environmental mitigation, bike path and pedestrian amenities, transportation-related research and workforce development – 1.3%

Some of these categories are too broad to maintain accountability…

For example, there’s no breakdown showing how much of the 59% —representing $9.5 billion — goes toward highway and bridge repair versus public government transit — including the ill-conceived and incredibly wasteful high-speed bullet train project between Bakersfield and Merced.

No wonder California has some of the worst maintained freeways and state highways in the nation…

Gov. Newsom and the Democrat-dominated state legislature are playing a form of bait-and-switch with California taxpayers. They are trying to keep taxpayers focused on evil Big Oil price gouging while they are the real price gougers — collecting billions of dollars in taxes and fees so they can push their “green” agenda which involves banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles in the state in just 13 years and replacing them with electric vehicles.

The very rich don’t care or notice.

But for everyone else, the government is making them poorer and just living more costly and harder.

What do you think? Email me at 

Read our other article here: 11 Great Reasons To Stay In California

Comments 2

  1. Absolutely agree that this current neo-hypocrite governor doesn’t care an iota for the citizen taxpayers of California..especially the lower & middle taxpayers! His goal is to run for president but we need to remind all US voters if his force of the “Train to Nowhere” that has cost & continues to cost taxpayers — it only is his payback to the unions that continue to back him and probably his pockets with not only money but votes in each election! The Democratic party’s green agenda cost the taxpayers billions because of their insane green policies regarding the forest system and the consequence fires that destroyed entire cities, numerous homes ! Now taxpayers are faced with another damning consequence of this green idiocy with the mudslides and yet during this drought, has any of these idiotic politicians thought of building or re-enforcing dams….not one! Again, a solution to the drought by using the vast Pacific Ocean and creating a desalination system, these idiots voted no..again with their green policies that continue to block any reasonable or common sense solutions! But the train to nowhere will continue to cost us billions and NOT SOLVE any of California’s problems !

  2. Same old Democratic agenda as has been for the 75 years i have lived in Ca. Nothing will change as long as the Dems remain in power.

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