Three Pennsylvania state lawmakers call for gas tax holidays
June 17, 2022
Multiple pursuits underway at the Pennsylvania statehouse would provide gas price relief for consumers throughout the state. Diesel fuel is not included.
Sen. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, is behind one bill to suspend the state’s 57.6-cent gas tax.
Flynn said that elected officials have an obligation to take into account challenges facing constituents and pursue meaningful solutions.
He points out that the statewide average price for a gallon of gas is $5.03 – an increase of more than 58% from one year ago.
“To this end, I will be introducing legislation to suspend the state’s liquid fuels tax – commonly referred to as the gasoline tax – through the end of calendar year 2022,” Flynn wrote in a memo to senators.
“This suspension would eliminate the current state gasoline tax of 57.6 cents per gallon through the end of the year, and thus provides an avenue for gas stations to lower prices by approximately this amount.”
He says the state can tap into a revenue surplus and $2.16 billion in federal relief funds to counter tax revenue loss.
Summer tax holiday
A similar Senate proposal is underway. Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, is calling for a summer gas tax holiday.
Her pursuit would waive the gas tax from July Fourth weekend through Labor Day weekend.
“It is beyond time that we provide relief to all Pennsylvania families who are bearing the brunt of cost increases at the gas pump. This financial strain, left unchecked, will mean less spending during a season that usually sees the highest rate of tourism/travel across the Commonwealth,” Boscola wrote.
Her plan would use federal relief funds to cover lost funds.
“With these surplus dollars, there is no better investment than putting that money back into the pockets of Pennsylvanians.”
Partial tax holiday
One more Senate bill would provide gas tax relief to consumers.
Sponsored by Sen. Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte, the bill would lower state gas tax collection by one-third through the end of the year.
The bill, SB10, would reduce the 57.6-cent gas tax rate by nearly 20 cents. The state would be responsible for identifying how to mitigate the revenue loss.
Corman’s plan is to trim fuel taxes by one-third through the end of the year.
The state would tap a mix of federal funds and a bond issue to cover the revenue loss.
“Taking this action now will not only provide much-needed economic relief for families for the upcoming months, but it will help us determine how we can best meet our long-term infrastructure needs without relying so heavily on the gas tax in the future,” Corman wrote. LL