California’s gasoline siphoned from gas stations: How it’s done
By Brian MurphyABC News | Updated October 17, 2018 07:07:17California’s gasoline pump stations are filled with gas, sometimes for more than 30 days at a time.
But what happens to the money?
The state has an online tool to help answer that question.
“We have a state-wide tool that lets you see exactly how much money has been siphoned off from your pump,” said state gas tax collector Brian L. Henson.
Henson said about $40 million of the money has gone to paying for a $300 million expansion of the state’s fuel pump network.
He said a total of $70 million in sales taxes have been lost in that process.
A total of 9,700 stations are currently serving gasoline.
In California, stations can only dispense one gallon of gasoline a day.
But the state is spending $20 million a year to upgrade its pumps.
The goal is to have a system that can dispense at least 1,000 gallons of gas a day by 2025.
State Rep. Joe Scarnati, R-Bakersfield, introduced a bill to allow the gas tax to be paid by a gas tax check.
If passed, the bill would also give the state gas taxes to be used to replace those lost tax revenues, Scarnat said.
Gas tax payments have been growing in recent years.
They rose 3.3 percent in 2018, compared to 3.4 percent the year before.
But they fell 6.7 percent in 2019, compared with 7.6 percent the previous year.
The Legislature last year agreed to extend a gas sales tax hike through 2020, but a number of lawmakers questioned whether it would pay for that.
Hansen said the gas pumps in California are the most efficient in the nation.
He estimated that, without gas taxes, gas stations could pump at least 6,000 more gallons a day, or about 30 percent more fuel than what’s in today’s market.