State senator proposes Pa. gas tax holiday

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Tyler Martin of Cameron Energy, right, talks to State Sen. Jake Corman, who is running for governor, about some of the equipment the company needs in order to plug orphan wells. Corman was in Warren for a campaign and educational visit.

Gas prices may have temporarily stopped increasing, but state Sen. Jake Corman still wants the state to consider a gas tax holiday through the end of the year.

On Monday, Corman, R-Centre/Mifflin/Juniata/Huntingdon, introduced Senate Bill 10, the Consumer Gas Prices Relief Act, to lower the state’s liquid fuels tax by one-third through the end of the year while also using federal stimulus money to help pay for Pennsylvania State Police operations so money wouldn’t need to be taken from the state’s Motor License Fund. Corman is also calling on a $650 million bond to pay for infrastructure work that would have been paid for with gas tax receipts.

“Higher gas prices are taking more money out of consumers’ wallets at a time when families can least afford another financial burden,” Corman said. “We cannot change the circumstances that led to skyrocketing gas prices – including the invasion of Ukraine and the anti-energy policies of President Biden and Governor Wolf – but we can alleviate some of the stress on Pennsylvanians every time they fill up their gas tank.”

Sen. Scott Hutchinson, R-Butler/Clarion/Forest/Venango/Warren, has signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation along with a bipartisan group of 14 other senators.

The price of gasoline is about $4.29 in the Warren area, slightly higher than the national average of $4.24 a gallon but slightly less than the state average of $4.316. Gasoline was about 10 cents more per gallon a week ago, but is still a much higher than it was at this time in 2021, when the average price of a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania was $3.027 a gallon.

On March 8, Gov. Tom Wolf called on Congress to enact a federal gas tax holiday through the end of the year by signing onto a letter from fellow governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Jared Polis of Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Tony Evers of Wisconsin.

“Like most Americans, Pennsylvanians are grappling with rising gas prices as they navigate paying for other household needs, from their rent or mortgage to groceries and other necessities,” Wolf said. “A federal gas tax holiday would ease some of that pain on Pennsylvanians’ wallets without impacting important infrastructure projects that are funded through the federal Highway Trust Fund.”

Corman noted Wolf’s approval of a federal gas tax holiday as one reason Democrats should support a similar move at the state level. Removing federal taxes on gas would reduce gas prices by about 18 cents a gallon. Corman said removing one-third of Pennsylvania’s taxes on gas would total about 20 cents a gallon, meaning total fuel taxes could be decreased by about half if both gas tax holidays are approved.

At least 18 states, including New York, have already proposed gas tax holidays. Maryland approved a 30-day gas tax holiday on March 18 while Georgia has enacted a gas tax holiday through the end of May.


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