California motorists will get a slight break at the pump July 1 when the state excise tax on gasoline will be adjusted downward by 3.5 cents per gallon.
The state Board of Equalization voted unanimously Tuesday to lower the tax for one year. The tax officials did so to comply with a state budget law passed in 2010, known as the "fuel tax swap."
Every year the board must jiggle the gas tax rate as part of a complex formula that's aimed at balancing revenue from per gallon excise tax on gasoline and the sales tax on the total charged to customers at filling stations.
The goal is to keep total annual cost to drivers from both taxes from fluctuating too much from the baseline set in 2010.