PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — 8.1 cents, that’s how much Pennsylvanians could start paying for every mile they drive.
Governor Tom Wolf formed a commission back in March to research ways to phase out the state’s gas tax and replace it with alternative funding. PennDOT presented Wolf’s administration with a 40-page proposal this week.
Pennsylvania transportation is said to need over 9 billion dollars to restore our bridges and highways and keep them in good shape. But that money has to come from somewhere.
It’s called a mileage-based user fee; it would replace Pennsylvania’s gas tax.
“I think it’s crazy. All of the tax they’re charging us on this gas. Remembering how low gas was and now it’s three-something a gallon,” said Kenroy White, of Wilkes-Barre.
However, that method of funding is becoming outdated.
“In Pennsylvania, we rely on the gas tax for about three-quarters of our overall funding. The gas tax is no longer sustainable. We’ve seen that. You have more fuel-efficient cars on the road, the electrification of cars,” explained Larry Shifflet, the planning deputy secretary at PennDOT.
The proposal also includes increasing fees like vehicle registration fees and vehicle lease fees and adding various new fees. Add this to the new bridge tolls discussed months ago.
People in the community are asking at what point are they going too far?
“Right now it’s too far. They better do something because people are going to be in an uproar real quick,” said Bob Walter, of Peckville.
Now, it’s up to the Wolf administration to make the proposal a reality and act on it by July 1, 2022.
If you wish you can read the full 40-page proposal sent out by PennDOT.