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Some of the highest gas prices seen in San Luis Obispo County as tax hike takes effect

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 01, 2021

Californians now pay the most taxes on gas than people in any other state.

As a result of Senate Bill 1, the state gas tax increased by 0.6 cents per gallon, bringing the total state excise tax on gas to 51.1 cents.

“July 4th travelers will be paying the highest state average price for regular [gas] since the 2014 holiday weekend,” said Jeffrey Spring, Automobile Club Southern California spokesman.

According to AAA, the average price per gallon of regular gas in San Luis Obispo County is $4.47. It's a little cheaper in Santa Barbara County with an average of $4.26/gal regular.

Compare that to the state average of $4.28/gal regular.

According to Gas Buddy, the most expensive gas prices reported on the Central Coast were at the Chevron on Five Cities Dr. in Pismo Beach. If you fill up there, it'll cost you $4.89 per gallon for regular gas and more than $5 for plus, supreme, and diesel.

Senate Bill 1, better known as the gas tax, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in April of 2017. It increases every year based on inflation as a way to fund road and bridge repairs.

Since then, California's gas tax has increased by 21 cents.

In November of 2018, an effort to repeal the gas tax increase, Proposition 6, failed to pass in a statewide vote.

“For a 10-gallon tank, we're talking 5 cents and an 18-gallon tank, like 12 cents for the additional cost of that tank,” Spring said. “This year around, it's not a lot of money but that doesn't mean that we don't pay high prices for gasoline in California."

The price adds up for florist Tina McLane who averages 20 deliveries a day.

“Our local delivery charge is $10.95 and we charge $19.95 to go to San Luis Obispo or Nipomo. I don't just want to raise them if we can bear some of it. If it continues to go up, I will have to raise them,” McLane, owner of Grand Bouquet Florist in Arroyo Grande, said.

Fatte's Pizza in Grover Beach offers free delivery to the Five Cities area, but the owner says he'll pay drivers more and charge customers if gas prices continue on an upward trend.

“We are looking at the gas prices very closely. If it comes to more than $4.50 a gallon for unleaded gas paying cash, then I'll just be giving [delivery drivers] $2 per delivery and if that stays permanent, then I will be passing that on to customers,” said Paul Miser, owner of Fatte’s Pizza in Grover Beach.

Experts say strong demand and expensive international oil prices are driving up the cost at the pump.