Mar 23, 2022 - News

Pennsylvania bill would lower state gas tax

State gas taxes
Data: Federation of Tax Administrators; Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the country, at 57.6 cents per gallon, according to recent data from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Why it matters: Gas prices surged to record levels following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and lawmakers across the U.S. scrambling to provide relief and limit political fallout are looking at taxes.

The big picture: Several governors, including Gov. Tom Wolf, are calling on Congress to support a bill to suspend the federal gas tax, 18.4 cents per gallon, for the rest of the year, Axios' Shawna Chen reports.

  • Georgia and Maryland recently approved their own gas tax suspensions, and more states could follow.

Zoom in: Pennsylvania Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, introduced a bill in the state Senate earlier this week that would decrease the state gas tax by a third through the end of the year.

  • Senate Bill 10, dubbed the Consumer Gas Prices Relief Act, would replace the lost gas tax revenue with a mash-up of federal funds and a bond issue.
  • Corman said in a statement that his plan, coupled with the proposed federal gas tax holiday, could reduce consumer gas taxes by nearly 50%.

Of note: Gas taxes in Pennsylvania help fund the state's police and highway system.

What they're saying: "Higher gas prices are taking more money out of consumers' wallets at a time when families can least afford another financial burden," Corman said.

The other side: Critics against suspending gas taxes note there's no guarantee the savings would go to consumers and argue the move could potentially impact infrastructure projects, the Associated Press reports.

What to watch: Corman isn't the only Pennsylvania governor hopeful pitching gas relief.

  • Democratic candidate and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently proposed a gas tax refund of $250 per car, up to four per family.

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