Home Economy What a Joke! Is the California Gas Tax Refund Really Going to Cost Us More Money?

What a Joke! Is the California Gas Tax Refund Really Going to Cost Us More Money?

Ha! That’s right folks, the much-touted California Gas Tax Refund that His Hairfulness, Governor Gavin Newsom, promised you last year may end up costing you more money. Because, why not add insult to injury, right?

In a brilliant move, instead of actually reducing the state’s excessive gas taxes, Governor Newsom decided to offer a one-time, temporary check to taxpayers in a desperate attempt to win votes during the 2022 midterm elections. Because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t love to receive a check they never asked for in the first place?


And of course, the state Franchise Tax Board won’t require taxes to be paid on the amount, but the IRS may have other ideas. Because, why not make life even harder for the struggling middle class, what little is left of it in this state anyway.

The Middle-Class Tax Refund, also known as the “Gas Tax Refund” and the “Inflation Relief Payment,” was issued to nearly 12.5 million Californians. Depending on your income and tax filing status, you could receive anywhere between $200 and $1,050, if you filed a state tax return in 2020 and still reside in the Golden State.


When NBC 7 asked the IRS about the federal government taxing this “windfall,” the answer was a resounding “we’ll get back to you.” The IRS is “working with state tax officials” to provide clarity for taxpayers, but in the meantime, they are urging filers to wait for further clarification. Because, let’s be honest, the IRS is never in a hurry to make life easier for anyone.

In the meantime, the IRS recommends waiting for additional guidance or consulting a reputable tax professional. And, by all means, don’t bother calling the IRS, they probably won’t answer the phone anyway. If they do decide to tax Californians even more, they will issue a 1099-MISC to those whose Gas Tax Refund totaled $600 or more. Yay, more paperwork!

The California Legislature supposedly set aside $17 billion to pay for this stimulus program, yet in early January, Governor Newsom announced that the state was facing a $22.5 billion deficit. And all those wealthy folks whom Newsom relies upon for their tax revenue have been fleeing the state, leaving tax revenues down. Way down.

So, what’s the solution? The California Legislature is pushing Assembly Bill 259, which, if passed, would impose an annual 1.5 percent tax on those with a worldwide net worth above $1 billion. Because, who needs billionaires anyway?

And here we thought Governor Newsom was all about “California freedoms and California values.” But for the majority of the middle class, those things no longer exist. Welcome to life in the Golden State!

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