SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Gas prices at the pumps are still painfully high and the state has yet to send out gas rebate checks. When will rebate checks arrive in Californians’ wallets?
Political wrangling between Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators has delayed delivering relief to drivers. The governor had hoped to start sending out checks in July, but now Californians will likely not receive gas rebate checks until October at the earliest.
Back in March Newsom said, “We’re taking immediate action to get money directly into the pockets of Californians who are facing higher gas prices as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.” Now, Newsom says rebate checks are still five months away.
California’s pumps are currently the priciest in the nation, averaging $5.8 per gallon, according to AAA. Gas prices are anticipated to soar even higher this summer.
State lawmakers are still debating how the gas rebate checks will be delivered and who will receive them.
The governor proposed an $11-billion relief package. Registered vehicle owners would be eligible for $400 per vehicle, capped at $800 for two vehicles, totaling $9 billion in direct payments to millions of Californians.
Newsom’s plan also includes public transit grants that would allow transit agencies to provide free rides for three months.
State legislative leaders pitched a different plan. Their plan would funnel $8 billion through the Franchise Tax Board. Taxpayers who earn annual salaries of $125,000 or less would receive $200, and an additional $200 for each child or other dependent.
California has an unprecedented $68 billion in available general fund resources.
“With the new revenue available for this year’s state budget, the senate is doubling down on our priorities— relief of $8 billion for Californians facing higher consumer costs … and reinvesting California’s wealth in those who need it most, especially struggling families and small businesses,” state senator Toni Atkins said.
A clearer picture of the state’s gas rebate check timeline will surface in Gov. Newsom’s revised state budget, which is slated to be released later this week. The state budget will be finalized in June.