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CA Gas Tax Increases Saturday. How Big Will the Bite Be?



With California's gas tax rising by 8% on Saturday, drivers will feel more pain at the pump. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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California’s gas tax will go up Saturday, but not enough to overtake Illinois as the state with the highest gasoline taxes.

The California excise gas tax will increase by 8%, which equals roughly 4 cents a gallon, in keeping with inflation.

However, diesel users catch a break. Their fuel tax increase comes in October.

California Has Second Highest Excise Tax, Total Tax

The increase narrows the gap between California and Illinois, whose tax will rise by 3.1 cents on Saturday.

The average gas price Friday in California is $4.827 a gallon according to insurance giant American Automobile Association. Washington has the highest average price at $4.984.

California’s new excise rate of 57.9 cents a gallon may outpace Illinois’ 45.4 cents a gallon, but environmental fees push the Midwest state to first place with a total of 70.5 cents on every gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. California’s total state tax equals 69.1 cents per gallon.

Pennsylvania comes in third with 62.2 cents per gallon, having already increased its gas tax on Jan. 1. Its excise rate is 61.1 cents. Federal taxes add 18.3 cents per gallon.

California’s GOP Members of Congress Request Gas Tax Suspension

Not everybody is on board with the gas tax increase.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), Congressmen David Valadao (R-Hanford), John Duarte (R-Turlock), Tom McClintock (R-Modesto), and eight other California representatives penned a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom opposing the scheduled increase.

“Californians continue to be confronted with exorbitant gasoline prices, ranking among the highest in the country, and the rapidly increasing cost of basic necessities, such as housing, food, energy, and transportation,” the letter read.

The increase comes as part of 2017’s SB 1, which aims to provide $15 billion to local street maintenance projects over 10 years and $19 billion to state highway maintenance over 10 years, among other transportation investments.

Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at

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