Boasting an 80 billion dollar surplus, the California State Government is flush with cash, yet Democrats still want more. In a Tuesday statement, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy highlighted that “…Governor Newsom collected $26 billion in federal aid from Speaker Pelosi’s Blue State Bailout, all while bragging about California’s surplus.” Despite this hefty surplus, Democrats introduced a 10% excise tax on handguns in the past legislative session and an 11% excise tax on long guns, gun parts, and ammunition, and a 16.8% wealth tax, among other efforts to pad their already well-lined pockets. Possibly the most egregious of these efforts is an increase in the California gas tax.  

Although California already burdens taxpayers with the highest gas prices in the nation, the state gas tax rose to 51 cents per gallon on July 1st. The tax hike will cost drivers at least an additional 83 million dollars, while the average Californian family of four already pays over 800 dollars in gas taxes each year.  

California Republicans introduced a gas tax holiday to temporarily suspend gas tax collection for the end of the fiscal year. This holiday would have provided much-needed relief to families. In a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Republican Caucus said: “It is time to give Californians a break from the high cost of living that includes the state’s high taxes and gas prices.”  

This measure was supported by the people of California. A business owner who spends over two thousand dollars each week on gasoline said: “It’s expensive… any reprieve would be wonderful”. Yet despite widespread support, Democrats remained uninterested in providing relief at the pump to working Californians. They unilaterally passed a budget without any holiday.  

Even when completely unnecessary, California Democrats’ compulsive need to raise taxes highlights the urgent need for change in Sacramento. California residents cannot afford the already highest gasoline prices. Programs such as the gas tax holiday, the full deductibility of PPP loan expenses, attempts to shield Californians from tax liability for unemployment benefits and other tax-saving efforts were all proposed this session. Yet despite bipartisan support, Sacramento leadership killed them all.  

Fortunately, California residents have begun to push back against the Democrats’ tax and spend policies by petitioning to recall Governor Newsom. Among the frontrunners to replace Newsom is Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer Kevin Faulconer, who introduced the “largest middle class tax cut in California history.” Faulconer’s plan would eliminate the state income tax on individuals making less than 50 thousand dollars per year, and households making less than 100 thousand dollars per year. These cuts would go a long way toward alleviating the massive tax burden currently crushing the California middle class.