California gasoline consumption in May drops 4.1% year-over-year to 1.24 billion gallons, while state's diesel fuel use rises 4% from year ago to 213 million gallons, as average prices climb to US$4.23/gallon, US$4.36/gallon, respectively

SACRAMENTO, California , August 31, 2011 (press release) – Average Price for a Gallon of Gasoline in California Hit $4.23 in May 2011

Jerome E. Horton, Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), today announced gasoline and diesel consumption figures for May 2011. California gasoline consumption declined 4.1 percent in May compared to May last year. This is the second consecutive month of declines at or over 4 percent.

“Californians faced $4 per gallon gasoline prices in May 2011,” said Horton. “It looks like the 35 percent increase in gasoline prices led to lower gasoline consumption. Low-income households that were particularly hard hit by the recession experienced further financial distress due to the high price of gasoline in California.”

In California, gasoline consumption in May 2011 was down 4.1 percent to 1.24 billion gallons compared to May 2010’s total of 1.29 billion gallons. The California average price for a gallon of gasoline was up $1.09 to $4.23 in May 2011, a 35 percent increase over May 2010’s average price of $3.14 per gallon. The national average price of a gallon of gasoline rose $1.07 to $3.96 in May 2011, a 37 percent increase over May 2010’s national average price of $2.89 for a gallon of gasoline.

California’s diesel fuel consumption figures for May 2011 show an increase of 4 percent to 213 million gallons compared to May 2010’s total of 205 million gallons. However, the May 2010 diesel figures included 13.2 million in refunds. After adjusting for the refunds, diesel consumption decreased 2.6 percent in May 2011. The California average price for a gallon of diesel was up $1.15 to $4.36 in May 2011, a 36 percent increase over May 2010’s average price of $3.21 per gallon of diesel. Nationally, the average price for a gallon of diesel rose 98 cents to $4.05 in May 2011, a 32 percent increase over May 2010’s national average price of $3.07 per gallon of diesel.

Gasoline and diesel fuel figures are net consumption that includes the State Board of Equalization’s audit assessments, refunds, amended and late tax returns and the State Controller’s Office refunds. The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors in California. For all monthly, quarterly and annual fuel reports, visit www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/spftrpts.htm.

Taxable Gasoline Gallons: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/MVF_10_Year_Report.pdf

Taxable Diesel Gallons: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/Diesel_10_Year_Report.pdf

Elected in 2010, Chairman Jerome E. Horton is the Fourth District Member of the California State Board of Equalization, representing more than 8.5 million residents in Los Angeles County. He is also the Board of Equalization Legislative Committee chairman. He is the first to serve on the Board of Equalization with over 21 years of experience at the BOE. Horton previously served as an Assembly Member of the California State Assembly from 2000-2006.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization is a publicly elected tax board. The Board of Equalization collects more than $50 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.

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