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State gas tax set to rise Monday

Get ready to spend a bit more at the pump, beginning Monday.

That's when a 3.5-cent-per-gallon state tax increase kicks in on gas.

The hike was approved by the state Board of Equalization in February and will give the Golden State the highest gas tax in the nation, at almost 72 cents per gallon.

"Frustrated" was how Nate Eiseman, of Santa Rosa said it makes him feel.

"You don't know where, or who, it's going to," said the junior high school teacher, who put $10 worth of gas into his pickup Saturday evening at the Shell station on College Avenue, east of Highway 101.

"I think it will make a difference. I work in Marin," said Geraldina Romero of Santa Rosa, who had just put $40 into her Audi sedan.

"Yeah it will be more expensive," said Romero, a Marin County social services employee.

A divided Board of Equalization voted 3-2 to raise the excise tax on a gallon of gas from 36 cents per gallon to 39.5 cents per gallon, largely to make up for tax revenue shortfalls in past years. Additional sales and federal taxes boost the total tax per gallon to 71.9 cents.

The increase was approved under a complicated gas tax swap that eliminated most sales taxes on fuel purchases in favor of a higher excise tax.

The increase is calculated to add $26.25 more a year for a person who drives 15,000 miles and gets 20 miles per gallon.


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