Tom Corbett is caught between a rock in a hard place: Fund Pennsylvania’s decimated transportation infrastructure, or obey Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge? It appears he’s going to break with the (once?) mighty Norquist and lift a cap on wholesale gasoline taxes. Doing so would generate $1.85 billion in new revenue to help pay for roads and bridges. Yay! But lifting the cap would also add about 28.5 cents to the 19.2-cents per gallon already paid by wholesalers. Boo!
It’s unclear how much of that would actually trickle down to the consumer. MORE IMPORTANTLY, does this violate the all-important Americans for Tax Reform no-tax pledge signed by the Guv (along with every other Republican) in 2010? After instituting state impact fees on natural gas drilling, Corbett argued that the tax was levied on natural gas companies, not individuals, so it didn’t count. He’s used similar reasoning before with the gas tax proposal, claiming that it isn’t a real tax, since the cap he’s lifting was “artificial” in the first place. I’ve called Grover Norquist to ask him what he thinks, and will update this post if he gets back to me. [Post-Gazette]