Pennsylvania’s gas prices have been well above the national average for years because of the state’s gas tax. Now, during a time of high inflation, the Department of Revenue has increased the tax on gas and diesel, taking more money away from hard-working Pennsylvanians when they need it in their wallets most.
On Jan. 1, the Department increased the tax on gas by 3.5 cents per gallon to 61.1 cents per gallon, and the tax on diesel jumped by 4.4 cents per gallon to 78.5 cents per gallon. This increase is a result of Act 89 of 2013, a bill that eliminated the cap on the wholesale tax rate paid by retailers. In response, both the state Senate and House have introduced bills to amend the law to halt the automatic tax increase, which is being initiated because the average gas price in 2022 exceeded $2.99 per gallon.
The Senate is farther along in the legislative process, having considered and passed its bill to eliminate the automatic gas tax increase for 2023 moving forward, and preventing what would produce the second-highest gas tax in the nation behind California, and permanently set the average wholesale price at $2.99 per gallon. The bill also requires the Department of Revenue to reassess this year’s gas tax structure.
Because the passage of the House bill would yield the same outcome, it makes no difference whether the House or Senate version of the bill becomes law. The goal of both pieces of legislation is to benefit taxpayers and drivers at the pump and help them to keep more of their hard-earned money.
AAA shows the average price for a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania is 50 cents greater than the national average. Meanwhile, projections indicate the average Pennsylvania household will spend nearly $2,500 at the gas pump in 2023. About $380 of those dollars per driver will result from gas taxes alone.
The trucking industry will be even more impacted by the new rates. The tax rate for diesel jumped 4.4 cents per gallon to 78.5 cents per gallon. 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 will follow suit and Pennsylvanians will feel the pinch at the checkout counter.
While I was not in office when Act 89 of 2013 passed, I look forward to voting on the legislation to amend the law. In inflationary times, we should be protecting consumers, not penalizing them. We cannot tax our way to economic prosperity, and we need to be evaluating methods by which we can unburden residents and families during this economically challenging time.
There are many issues that are out of your state legislator’s hands, like the current price of eggs and basic utilities, but this is something the General Assembly can change that will better serve all Pennsylvanians.
The House must be organized and called into session so we can start working on impactful legislation like capping the gas tax. I ask Speaker Mark Rozzi to bring us back into session as soon as possible so we can get to work for the people of Pennsylvania. I stand ready for that return call to Harrisburg so we can help ease the pain at the pump.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Kate Klunk, R-169, represents part of York County.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.