Pennsylvania State Gas Tax to Rise 16 Percent

The state already has the highest gas tax in the country — but at least the money is earmarked for repairing ailing roads and bridges.

Photo: CasarsaGuru/iStock

Photo: CasarsaGuru/iStock

The Pennsylvania gas tax will rise eight cents per gallon on January 1, 2017.

At 50 cents per gallon, the state’s gas tax was already the highest in the country – and now it will be 58 cents, an increase of 16 percent. That’s not including a 18.4-cent federal excise tax, which brings the total tax paid to 76.4 cents per gallon. This jump is the third – and final – phase of hikes initiated by a 2013 state law, Act 89.

Act 89, also known as the Transportation Bill, was implemented to mitigate a lack of funding for road and bridge projects, which was largely attributed to an outdated tax cap on the state’s base fuel price. By eliminating the cap in three phases, the Transportation Bill effectively raised the wholesale price of gas (the floor price will be $2.99 in January), which affects drivers at the pump.

Unlike most other states, Pennsylvania relies mainly on gas taxes and motor license fees to fund road and bridge construction and repair. Plus, the state’s road system is among the largest – and worst-ranking – in the country.

The tax increase is expected to generate an additional $299 million next year, according to PennLive. Act 89 will have provided $2.4 billion in additional funding for infrastructure projects by 2018, the news organization reports.

Oh, and don’t forget — turnpike tolls will increase next year, too.

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