With gas prices continuing to reach record territory across the Commonwealth, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre) has a fix.
The GOP gubernatorial candidate said that while he agreed with Gov. Tom Wolf, who signed a letter with five other Democratic governors calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax (18.4 cents per gallon) for the remainder of the year, Corman also wants to reduce the state’s gas tax.
The Commonwealth has the highest tax on fuel in the country at 58.7 cents per gallon and Corman would like to slash that by one-third.
To offset the lost revenue for road and bridge repairs, his legislation would dedicate $500 million in federal relief dollars to fund State Police operations so money would no longer need to be diverted from the Motor License Fund. In addition, the legislation would require PennDOT to issue a $650 million bond to ensure critical infrastructure projects remain funded during the period of the gas tax reduction.
“My plan offers a fiscally responsible way to help struggling families now without limiting the state’s ability to respond to financial challenges we could face in the future,” said Corman in a press release. “Importantly, it would also not impact our capability to make critical road and bridge repairs by funding our infrastructure needs through a bond issue and the responsible use of federal relief dollars.
“As far as a state gas tax holiday, it’s important to note that our gas tax is tied to funding fixing our roads and bridges through the Motor License Fund, and that funding is critical to ensuring the strength of our infrastructure,” Elizabeth Rementer, a spokesperson for Wolf, told the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 (WTAE) asked Jim Garrity, Director of Public Affairs AAA East Central if AAA would support a Pennsylvania gas tax holiday. He said it would depend on the specifics of the legislation.
“The concern and what we at AAA would want to see addressed in the language of the bill is, how is that money being made up for that would otherwise be going towards fixing the roads and bridges throughout Pennsylvania?” Garrity said.