December 30 – With just a little more than a day to go before we welcome the New Year, Pennsylvania residents should prepared for all the possibilities that lay ahead.
One guarantee that you will see is an increase in the gas tax.
A law from almost 10 years ago that was signed by then Governor Tom Corbett, increases the gas tax in the state when wholesale prices go above $3 per gallon.
Well guess what? The record inflation we’ve seen of late has brought us to that point.
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “I was caught unawares by this and I consider myself fairly fluent in looking at some of these policies. I remember it’s the first time Rich Alloway and I came to blows is when I went down there to say don’t pass this gas tax nonsense. You know it’s not going to be used for what it’s supposed to be used for. I was pretty prescient in that, I think. As we know, so much money goes to the state police and doesn’t actually give us the roads and bridge repairs that we wanted. I didn’t even know that there was this potential for another raise in that bill because of reaching a threshold that I guess people thought didn’t really have a chance of being reached, but thanks to Joe Biden, the Democrats and the inflation that we’re getting from all the government spending, we reached it. Is there any chance that that could be thwarted at least in the future? It would be nice if retroactively we could change this.”
PA Representative Rich Irwin said, “I would agree. Act 89 was the bill passed in 2013. It predated me, but it has caught me off guard, not seeing it coming. Joe Biden and the policies in DC that has driven the gas prices up puts this clause in Act 89 that does raise the gas tax.”
It will be an additional $.03 for gas and $.04 for diesel.
Irwin continued, “I think at this point in time with the inflation, with the struggles that we are dealing with in the 81st district and all over across the state of Pennsylvania, the gas prices are probably one of the biggest contributing factors to our inflationary issues that we’re dealing with at this point in time.”
Could some of the stimulus money have been used to offset the gas tax?
Irwin said, “As a state legislator over the last years I’ve been in office, we have been trying to bring that dollar amount that goes toward funding the state police down. I think we have it down below the $500 million range, which should be money that’s going out to construction projects across the Keystone State. We are the Keystone State. We have many, many miles of state highways and bridge failures that we need to be dealing with.”
Another issue are electric vehicles.
Irwin said, “That’s a bill that I’ve been working on to currently introduce is to increase the registration fee of our electric vehicles, purely electric vehicles across the state of Pennsylvania. The figure that I’m looking at right now would be a $265 registration fee annually for our electric vehicles because currently, they’re not paying any gas tax and a lot of your electric vehicles are heavier than a normal vehicle because of the battery. So that’s one thing that I think could be a way to help supplement our PennDOT funding for road and bridge construction. That is currently what I’m working on between the House Transportation Committee as well as hopefully the administration and PennDOT going forward that we can implement something of that nature.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “Down the street from the radio station at Caledonia State Park, I’ve got charging stations in the park with no way to pay for them. Not only am I not getting the gas tax out of these rides, then I’ve got to pay for their energy in those parks. I didn’t say any place where you could put a credit card in. And they’re all over Caledonia State Park. What is that all about?”
Irwin said, “The only thing I’m understanding is that a lot of these electric vehicles do have a way of tracking that and then getting billed for it afterwards. It’s still new to me the technology that’s in that, but I agree. I figure the government has no business putting these charges stations in. How many gas stations whenever cars first came into existence did the government actually fund to have them put in there? It should be a supply and demand issue. It shouldn’t be a government run issue.”