Pa. Senate passes bill to stop gas tax increase

Ed Gruver//January 12, 2023

Pa. Senate passes bill to stop gas tax increase

Ed Gruver//January 12, 2023

Addressing transportation costs facing Pennsylvania drivers, the Senate of Pennsylvania passed legislation Wednesday aimed at stopping the automatic gas tax increase. 

Senate Bill 35 is sponsored by Wayne Langerholc Jr. (R-Cambria, Centre, and Clearfield counties), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. 

Langerholc said in a statement his legislation is a response to “insurmountable” transportation costs. 

My measure immediately cuts the gas tax to temper inflation-induced gas prices,” said Langerholc, “and the costly ramifications to home heating and goods delivered to grocery stores and residences.” 

The automatic gas tax increase is implemented by Act 89 of 2013. Langerholc’s bill halts the automatic gas tax increase for 2023 and permanently sets the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) at $2.99 per gallon to end future tax hikes on working families. The Department of Revenue, under law established in 2013, is required to annually assess the AWP on all taxable liquid fuels (i.e., gasoline), fuels (i.e., diesel fuel) and alternative fuels (i.e., electric). 

Sen. Scott Martin (R-Berks and Lancaster) said that as Pennsylvania has significant infrastructure needs that need to be addressed, increasing the gas tax “only adds another serious financial burden on family budgets throughout the state.” 

The AWP exceeded $2.99 per gallon for the first time in 2022. This led to an automatic increase in Pennsylvania’s gas tax of 3.5 cents per gallon and an increase in the tax on diesel fuel of 4.4 cents per gallon. Also increased were the alternative fuels tax rates. 

Langerholc said his legislation will cut the gas tax before Pennsylvania families pay the second highest gas tax in the nation. 

“At a time when our constituents are faced with rising costs at the pump, grocery store and utility bills,” said Langerholc, “no elected official should be voting against this legislation.” 

Senate Bill 35 heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.