It comes as already high gas prices have soared the past few weeks amid fears over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now averaging well over $4 per gallon.
Combined, the federal tax and the state tax costs Pennsylvania drivers more than $7 per 10 gallons of gas pumped.
On Tuesday, Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre proposed a 50 percent reduction of the state gas tax for the rest of 2022. The Republican candidate for governor said he would use COVID-19 relief funds to pay for the gap in funding to cover state police and would require PennDOT to issue a bond to ensure critical infrastructure projects remain funded during the period of the gas tax reduction.
“50 percent is something we can do right away without impacting the motor fund which is a win-win for everybody,” Corman said.
The plan has support from members of both parties locally.
“I voted against the tax on gasoline and have been calling for a reduction in the gas tax for the past 6 years,” said Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria County. “I’m pleased to learn Senator Corman and others are joining my effort to protect taxpayers at the pump.”
“Senator Corman recognizes how the rising cost of gas hurts every Pennsylvanian, even those who don’t drive will be paying more for goods and services as a result,” said Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair County.
However, Gov. Tom Wolf, when asked about it during an interview with KDKA Radio Tuesday, put the brakes on the idea in Pennsylvania. The Democrat said while he supports the federal tax relief bill, “If the price of gasoline is in the $4 range at this point, the big impact on the price is not the tax it’s the uncertainty surrounding the supply.”
Republicans are also using this as an example of the need for fuel independence.
“Biden started attacking on his first day in office with his executive orders, and now, with Democrats controlling both chambers we’ve soared past that infamous record,” said Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson County. “If the Biden administration does not take a drastic turn on its energy policy any “tax relief” would amount to a pebble rather than a speed bump on the road they have us on.”