Gas Tax, Turnpike Tolls Will Rise

Part of funding for Pennsylvania transportation bill.

Driving is about to get more expensive, the Post-Gazette reports:

The state’s tax on gasoline wholesalers will go up by 9.8 cents per gallon on Thursday, as mandated by Act 89, the transportation funding law the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett enacted last year. Three days after that, a 5 percent toll increase will take effect on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

How much, if any, of the gas tax increase will be reflected in pump prices is difficult to discern, but if dealers pass along the entire amount, it would cost a motorist who drives 12,000 miles in a 24 mpg vehicle an extra $49.

PennLive says cheap gas will still be relatively cheap:

But with gas prices averaging $2.48 a gallon on Sunday according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 241 gas outlets in Harrisburg, even if that full increase is passed along to consumers it would still keep the per-gallon price well below the $3 or higher price that motorists had paid in recent months.

Why the hikes? That’s the cost of having nice roads:

All of these increases are a result of Act 89 of 2013, the transportation funding law, that state Department of Transportation officials say is paying for the uptick in road and bridge work seen throughout the region.

“We saw at least 1,600 miles of roadway improvements just this year because of Act 89,” said PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt. “People are going to see the amount of work continue to increase. These are projects that have been on the backburner for years and they’ll continue to see these improvements in 2015 and beyond.”