Hidden Gas Tax Could Loom for California's Small Business Owners

Date: February 01, 2015

Affordable Gas for California Families Act may stem higher gas prices

A plan aimed at stemming higher gas prices, fueled by a new element of the state’s cap-and-trade program, is languishing in the Legislature as no Democratic lawmakers have so far signed on as co-sponsors.

Senate Bill 5, authored by state Sen. Andy Vidak, and Assembly Bill 23, authored by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, would exempt gas and oil from California’s Cap and Trade program, preventing a hidden gas tax. NFIB supports this legislation because it would stop the taxing of fuels under the cap.

But lawmakers have taken no action on SB 5 or AB 23  or since Dec. 2.

“It’s a tough road, no question about that,” Patterson told the Fresno Bee. “But the more we dig into this, the more we see the consequences of it that the proponents have not thought out.”

The climate change cap-and-trade law took effect in 2006, but a carbon trade effect element went into effect on Jan. 1, including gasoline, diesel and natural gas. Since then, as gas prices around the country plummet, California’s prices at the pump have increased 2 cents, and could increase even more sharply in the coming weeks—eventually by as much as 76 cents a gallon, according to Patterson. California small business owners already pay the highest gas prices in the nation.

NFIB/CA Executive Director John Kabateck says the cap-and-trade program is not good for the state’s small businesses, or the economy as a whole

“Higher fuel prices will derail the economic recovery that continues to sputter.”

For information—or to voice your opposition—contact your legislator or Ken DeVore, NFIB/CA legislative director, at [email protected] or 916-448-9904.

Have you seen gas prices increase recently? How would a steep increase impact your small business?

Related Content: Small Business News | California

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