The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Gas Rip-off

Apr 16, 2018

Gas prices are skyrocketing in California. The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gas in Los Angeles County is now around $3.50, up from $3.00 per gallon a year ago. This translates into a 17% hike, in just one year.

This huge rip-off includes a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. Add the State of California’s sales tax, around 9 cents, and then 2 cents more for underground storage tank fees.

Then come the excise taxes, taxes directly levied on companies, which pass them on to us by increasing the gas price.

In California, excise taxes on gas are about 47 cents. These excise taxes include 10 cents a gallon—supposedly for the cost of producing cleaner burning gasoline; 12 cents a gallon for California’s cap and trade program; 7 cents a gallon for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

In total, the California drivers pay around 77 cents as taxes for every gallon at the gas pump, or about 22% in taxes. But there’s more!

Add on the “California mystery gasoline surcharge,” that roughly translates into an additional charge of 20 to 30 cents on every gallon pumped in the state! This mysterious surcharge corresponds to between 3 billion to 4 billion dollars a year of income to the gas industry!

In California, the oil refinery industry is consolidated in the hands of a few companies in recent years. Tesoro and Chevron have been estimated to make up nearly half of the state’s refining capacity.

We are getting robbed at the gas pump by these companies and by the state and federal governments, which give our tax money over to these companies in tax breaks and other financial schemes.