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Gas tax in California set to increase starting July 1

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- California's gas tax is set to go up starting tomorrow. The current gas tax is 51.1 cents but is expected to go up 3 cents.

According to AAA, the average national gas price as of Wednesday is $4.85, while California's average gas price stands at $6.28.

"I usually wait till it's about halfway and then fill it up, so it's $25 or $30," said Anne Godfrey. "But today I let go, and now it's $47."

Sergio Diaz says he commutes from Salinas to San Jose for work. He fills up gas twice a week. The costs for him could add up.

"Probably in a little while in a few weeks we'll probably start feeling it," said Diaz. "Putting gas twice in twice a week, you'll probably see three or four cents more than someone who commutes in town."

But CSU Monterey Bay Professor Brad Barbeau explains that people do not notice the difference at the pump.

"The truth is three cents is not going to be very noticeable. Gas prices move more than three cents at any given week," said Barbeau. "Still, anything that pushes gas prices up anymore at this point is not going to be something that people want to hear right now."

But people still want to see help from local leaders. KION asked Assemblymember Robert Rivas and Representative Jimmy Panetta about their doing on the state and federal level to help people on the Central Coast.

"The California Legislature approved this rebate relief plan to bring immediate relief to all Californians," said Rivas. "Under this plan, the average family would relief over a $1000 to help with everyday expenses, including gas, groceries, and just about everything else."

"We need to provide all types of solutions," said Panetta. "Short-term and long-term to deal with this issue to bring these prices down. This administration has been doing it and we've been doing it in Congress."

The Western States Petroleum Association told KION it's not just the prices that leaders should look at.

"The policies that the Governor and the regulators that are all trying to put into effect, all affect these issues," said Slagle. "It affects our ability to supply energy. It affects costs. We should be looking at the policy side as much as we are at the pump."

Fourth of July travel is also expected to kick off tomorrow. AAA predicts almost 48 million people will be traveling more than 50 miles during the holiday weekend, 42 million people expected to hit the road.

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46

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