By Congressman Kevin Kiley – February 10, 2023
Remember the Gas Tax Saga of 2022? With prices reaching $7 a gallon, Newsom and the Supermajority pulled out all the stops to kill my gas tax suspension bill. Now, there’s an epilogue to the story that’s even more absurd than any of the chapters.
Facing public outrage over his opposition to my bill, last summer Newsom came up with a “tax refund” scheme that he billed as “inflation relief.” Conveniently, the branded debit cards landed in mailboxes at the same time as ballots.
Last week, 6.4 million Californians received another surprise in the mail: 1099 forms designating these tax “refunds” as taxable income. Meaning a chunk of the “gift” Newsom gave you out of the state treasury would now have to go back to the federal treasury.
When the surprise 1099s arrived, I sent the IRS a letter demanding guidance on whether the “refunds” were in fact taxable. The IRS said they’d get to it this week, but they haven’t. Instead, they told Californians to hold off on filing tax returns until the agency gets its act together.
This is what happens when incompetence meets incompetence. I’ve sent another letter blasting the IRS for the delay; as for Newsom, he better prepare for an investigation into how, in his haste to mail out cash by Election Day, he stuck Californians with extra federal taxes.
This whole mess would’ve been avoided if he’d just suspended the gas tax. The silver lining is two Assemblymen who helped him kill it got hammered over that vote when they ran for Congress last fall. They lost their races and we won ours, assuring a GOP Majority in the House.