Despite their promise to help California residents struggling with the highest gas prices in the nation, state legislators and Governor Newsom have yet to agree on who is eligible for gas rebates and how the checks would be distributed.
Funding of the rebates is not an issue since the state has an unprecedented $68 billion dollars available in its general fund.
In March, Governor Newsom said "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.” At the time, Newsom had thought the state could begin sending gas rebate checks to residents in July. However, it now looks like the soonest checks will be sent is October of 2022.
- Governor Newsom's Plan:
Through the Department of Motor Vehicles, registered vehicle owners would be eligible for up to $400 per vehicle ($800 max, despite how many vehicles owned). $9 billion dollars is budgeted for this plan.
- California Legislator's Plan:
Through the state's Franchise Tax Board, only taxpayers who earn annual salaries of $125,000 or less would be eligible for a rebate. The amount would be $200 per person and additional $200 for each child or other dependent.
In response to the rebate plan not be resolved, Senator Toni Atkins said, “With the new revenue available for this year’s state budget, the senate is doubling down on our priorities— relief of $8 billion for Californians facing higher consumer costs … and reinvesting California’s wealth in those who need it most, especially struggling families and small businesses.”