HARRISBURG – As Pennsylvanians are reeling from high gas prices due to record high inflation, the unwelcome news of an automatic per-gallon tax hike comes at an inopportune moment. Newly elected Rep.-elect Joe D’Orsie (R-Manchester) is seeking to provide some relief at the pumps by capping the state’s gas tax.
“Gas prices in Pennsylvania have been well above the national average for years because of the state’s exorbitantly high gas tax,” D’Orsie said. “To make matters worse, the Department of Revenue has announced it will increase the tax on gas by 3.5 cents, taking more money away from hard-working Pennsylvanians.”
D’Orsie has circulated a co-sponsorship memo to his fellow House members to sign on in support of the bill, which will be introduced after he is sworn into office in January. The bill would amend Act 89 of 2013 to halt the automatic tax increase, which is being initiated because the average gas price this year exceeded $2.99 per gallon.
This would provide much-needed relief to drivers who are paying the third-highest gas tax in the nation.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Pennsylvania is $3.64, which is 50 cents more than the national average of $3.10. Just south of the Mason-Dixon line, the average price is only $3.11 in Maryland. Pennsylvania’s current gas tax of 57.6 cents per gallon is to blame for the higher-than-average prices. Come January, the new tax is expected to be 61.1 cents per gallon.
The trucking industry will be even more impacted by the new rates. The current tax rate for diesel is 74.1 cents per gallon but is expected to jump by 4.4 cents per gallon to 78.5 cents per gallon.
However, D’Orsie’s bill would freeze the gas tax rate at 57.6 cents per gallon and the diesel tax rate at 74.1 cents per gallon, preventing both rates from increasing in the future.
“In inflationary times, we should be protecting consumers at the gas pump, not penalizing them,” D’Orsie said. “Increases like these always have a trickle-down effect; not only will gas prices rise if we don’t act, but the cost of the goods transported by trucks dependent on diesel fuel will follow suit.”
Representative Joe D’Orsie
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross