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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2022 12:24 PM
From: Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Stopping the Automatic Gas Tax Increase
President Biden’s pervasive anti-energy and inflationary policies have been negatively affecting working families across Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s failing policies recently triggered an automatic increase in Pennsylvania’s gas tax, which will take effect from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023. 
Act 89 of 2013 eliminated the flat gas tax ($0.12 per gallon) and removed the artificial cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax.  As such, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue must annually assess the gas tax ($0.58 per gallon for gas and $0.74 per gallon for diesel) according to the average wholesale price of gas, which is statutorily set at the floor of $2.99 per gallon.  In 2022, the annual tax assessment for motor fuels was $1.92 per gallon, and, as a result of President Biden’s war on energy, the annual tax assessment for 2023 will exceed $2.99 per gallon.  This means we will see an automatic increase of up to $0.05 per gallon throughout 2023, which was not a result of any recent statutory change.
Since the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s budget is nearly $10 billion, I have repeatedly called for PennDOT to rein-in spending.  We need to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.  In the 2022 budget, the General Assembly reduced the transfer down to $500 million from the Motor License Fund to support the Pennsylvania State Police.  As a former prosecutor, I understand the importance of funding law enforcement, however, we need to find innovative alternatives to support traffic safety operations without asking working families to pay more at the gas pump. 
In addition, we need to identify forward-thinking solutions to ensure all road users, such as owners of electric vehicles, are paying their fair share.  Even though the Commonwealth has a long-standing Alternative Fuels Tax assessing $0.0172 per kilowatt hour on at-home charging and public-facing charging stations, the Motor License Fund is only anticipated to receive $10 per electric vehicle (compared to $380 per year in gas taxes).  In the near future, I intend to introduce a co-sponsorship memo calling for a gas-tax equivalent Mileage-Based User Fee to be imposed only on light-duty electric vehicles.        
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to stop the automatic gas tax increase.  This is the first time in 10 years that we will see a gas tax increase due to the anti-energy and inflationary policies of President Biden, which will place Pennsylvania with the 2nd highest gas tax in the nation following California. 

Introduced as SB35