Lawmaker says his bill would prevent Pa. gas tax increases

AAA reports cheaper gas can damage your vehicle's engine and lead to lower gas mileage.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker says he’s introduced legislation to abolish increases in the state gasoline tax slated for next year and beyond.

Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana) said Pennsylvania collects 51.4 cents on each gallon of gas sold, the highest gas tax in the nation and nearly double the national average of 26.5 cents.

He said the latest gas tax increase, expected to be as much as 10 cents in January, is the result of a law Gov. Tom Corbett signed in 2013 to uncap the tax on wholesale gasoline purchases. Although the tax is on wholesalers, it has been passed down to drivers at the pump.

Petrarca said his bill would cancel the required January increase, keeping the wholesale price level and effectively preventing future gas tax increases.

“I did not support the 2013 law because it was going to increase gasoline prices, and now it’s expected to increase them by another 10 cents in January,” Petrarca said in a statement. “An increase in the gas tax hurts all of us, but especially for people on limited means or who live on fixed incomes.”

In 2013, the state gasoline tax was 32.3 cents per gallon.

The federal government also taxes each gallon of gas 18.4 cents.

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