A California tax collector says the state's gas tax should be frozen when the price of gas exceeds $4 a gallon.
George Runner, a Republican member of the State Board of Equalization, said his proposal would save consumers $1.4 billion a year if retail gas prices climbed to $5 a gallon, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Gas prices in the state averaged $4.33 a gallon for regular Thursday, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.
"This should be a reasonable issue for us to talk about without being partisan," Runner said. "We should try to figure out how to help motorists and taxpayers who are getting walloped at the pump."
California motorists pay a state excise tax of 35.7 cents per gallon of gas, along with a federal excise tax of 18.4 cents and a local sales tax that averages 3.1 percent. The Times says that brings the taxes for a 15-gallon tank of gas to more than $10.
Runner said it'd be tough to get the proposal passed. It would reduce revenue for financially struggling cities, counties and other local governments.
The state faces a projected $9.2 billion deficit next year and cities face cuts as they attempt to balance budgets.
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