State Representative Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) said a gas tax exemption and an electric vehicle fee would help the state economy by saving consumers money while funding the road fund.
In a comment on Friday, Mastriano said that statewide inflation is hitting consumers hard in Pennsylvania and that lowering the gas tax is one way to give them some relief. Pennsylvania’s 58 cents a gallon gas tax is the highest in the country, he said.
Mastriano said he wanted to propose a six-month gas tax vacation that would cut gas tax by 26 percent. This would cut gas prices by 15 cents per gallon. He said the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the state is $ 3.22, compared to $ 2.44 at the same time last year.
“Some believe that the benefits of a six-month gas tax cut would not be passed on to consumers because the tax is ‘indirect’ and not collected at the point of sale,” said Mastriano. “I do not agree with this claim. In a free market with open competition, fuel wholesalers still have to compete for business from retailers like Sheetz and Wawa. In addition, consumer demand for gas varies with price. This means that it is in the best interests of wholesalers to at least temporarily lower the price of a gallon of gas … Just as the incremental increase in gas tax known as Act 89 has resulted in higher prices for consumers, I believe that a tax This reduction will save consumers money when they refuel. “
Mastriano said the gas tax exemption would boost the economy by lowering travel costs and allowing residents to travel to other parts of the state for leisure.
To ensure the gas tax exemption doesn’t negatively impact state revenues for improving Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges, Mastriano’s bill also provides for a one-time fee for hybrid and electric vehicles in the state.
“Those who own these types of vehicles do not feel the full effects of a high gasoline tax, but can still benefit from the roads and bridges funded by that tax,” said Mastriano. “I think it makes perfect sense to ask these owners to pay their fair share by increasing registration fees.”
The legislature hopes that with its draft law, a complete phase-out of the gas tax can be initiated in the future.