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Newsom proposes $400 debit cards for vehicle owners to offset gas prices


Last updated 3/23/2022 at 2:31pm

SAN DIEGO - Vehicle owners in San Diego 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; and

-- $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 San Diego County reached $5.968.

The proposal needs to be approved by the state Legislature. Newsom's office estimated the debit cards could be issued beginning in July.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.


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