The California gasoline tax refund could save you hundreds of dollars every year.
In order to maintain California’s many highways, the state taxes every gallon of fuel that you put into your car (even gas purchased on post). This is reasonable, because we all know what it is like to drive on poorly maintained roads, and without this tax, California’s highways would quickly fall apart.
That being said, active duty military personal, or anyone else who drives on a military installation may be able to get the gasoline tax refunded for the gasoline they use while driving on military installations. The reason for this is that on-post roads, other than federal highways that traverse military installations, are not maintained by California’s Department of Transportation.
To have an idea of how much money you could save a year, here is a simple example. Let’s say you use 25 gallons of gas a week, 20 of which are used on Fort Irwin. That being the case, you use 1,040 gallons of gas a year on Fort Irwin. The California gas tax that you paid on that gasoline may be refundable. The current refundable gas tax rate (which changes yearly) is $0.36. So, if you fill out a simple form (the SCGR-1) and submit that form and other supporting documents to the State Controller’s Office, you would be able to get a refund of approximately $374.40 a year. While this is just an example, and some of us use much less than 20 gallons of gas a week on post, who couldn’t use a little extra money, and every little bit helps.
This refund can be claimed once a year, or more often depending on if the refund is going to be at least $750.
For all of the details regarding this benefit for those driving on military installations, and for a full list of qualifying refundable activities visit http://www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_gas_tax.html.