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California Democratic lawmakers propose new gas tax refund

The proposal would call for refunds only for single tax filers who make under $125,000 and for joint filers making less than $250,000 in income.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new proposal by Democratic lawmakers in California aims to help residents in the state deal with the rising price of gas

The proposal would provide a $200 refund for taxpayers in the state and their dependents. The refunds would go to single tax filers with under $125,000 in reported taxable income and joint filers with under $250,000 in taxable income. 

Under the proposal, a family of five with joint tax filers and three dependents would receive a $1,000 refund while a single tax filer with no dependents would receive a $200 refund.

Lawmakers say they believe this approach makes more sense than other ideas including the recent legislation in the state assembly that would provide a $400 tax rebate for all tax filers in the state regardless of income level. 

Democratic lawmakers add that they believe their proposal is better than a suspension of the state's gas tax, as Republican lawmakers have called for. According to democratic lawmakers, if the gas tax is suspended, oil companies will not be required pass the savings down to drivers. 

The refund program that Democratic lawmakers are proposing would also come with a grant program providing the same level of benefit to lower income Californians who do not file income taxes.

Lawmakers say the program would also protect Proposition 98 funding levels from falling.

As of Saturday, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in California is listed at $5.83, according to AAA. 

 Save Money on Gas:  Use our interactive map to find the lowest price near you.

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