Money down the tank

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Have you found that your dollar isn’t going as far as it used too?

Since Nov. 1 California drivers have been hit with a 12-cent gas tax increase for regular gas and a 20-cent increase for Diesel.

Delta student Megan Lynn Lambdin is already feeling the extra change.

“I recently bought gas and $30 won’t even fill my tank,” said Lambdin.

This increase comes after Gov. Jerry Brown signed this tax increase into law last April without voter approval.

This increase is expected to raise $5.4 billion a year to be split between local and state governments.

The money will be used to pay for general road work on things like potholes and bridges that are crumbling away. A small portion will also be allotted to public transit, bike trails and other projects.

Marlene Andrade expressed her concern for lower income families.

“I think an increase of gas, It hurts a lot of families that are low income, you know that they have to pay other essentials such as food and housing … and increase will hurt their wallets,” said Andrade.

Aside from the gas increase, the bill will also require a new value system fee of $25 – $175, depending on the current value of one’s vehicle on top of the yearly vehicle registration renewal.

Zero emission cars aren’t safe from the gas-tax bill either as down the road owners will have to pay a fee of $100 per year beginning in 2020 since zero-emission cars don’t require gas to function.

Essentially only vehicle owners will be affected by the tax increase.

According to AAA, the national average of gas per gallon as of Nov. 13 is $2.560 while the average in California sits at $3.237, meaning in California we pay 68 cents more than national average.

Ernest Giannecchini, the proprietor of Ernie’s General Store weighed in on the matter.

“People need gas they’ll just have less to spend on other stuff … people will find a way to fit into their budgets. They say that the money will go to fixing road but our roads are still a mess,” said Giannecchini, who’s station is located on Waterloo Road in Stockton off Highway 99.

Compared to Ernie’s General Store prices which sits at $3.09 the cheapest gas in the Stockton area is at Hardy’s gas on Harding Way and North Center Street, which is at $2.75 a gallon, according to gasbuddy.com.

The bill will likely be up for repeal on the November 2018 ballot.