LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Vehicle owners in the Southland and across California would receive $400 debit cards from the state under a proposal unveiled today by Gov. Gavin Newsom in an effort to provide relief from skyrocketing gas prices.
Under Newsom's proposal, Californians would receive a $400 debit for each registered vehicle they own, with a limit of two. According to the governor's office, the average motorist pays about $300 in gasoline excise taxes each year.
The rebate program will cost a total of $9 billion. Newsom also proposed $2 billion in other measures:
-- $750 million to provide grants to transit agencies to offer free rides for three months
-- $600 million to pause a portion of the sales tax on diesel fuel for a year
-- $523 million to pause inflation adjustments to gas and diesel excise tax rates.
``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,'' Newsom said in a statement. ``But this package is also focused on protecting people from volatile gas prices, and advancing clean transportation -- providing three months of free public transportation, fast-tracking electric vehicle incentives and charging stations, and new funding for local biking and walking projects.''
Newsom's proposal came on a day that the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County reached $6.021. The Orange County average is $5.976.
The proposal needs to be approved by the state Legislature. Newsom's office estimated the debit cards could be issued beginning in July.