Commission Report to Phase Out PA Gas Tax Expected Soon
The Transportation Funding Options Commission appointed by Governor Wolf earlier this year (to search for alternatives to the gas tax) is expected to submit its report by the end of the month. The Commission is in the final stages of reviewing the recommendations.
Included in the provisions under consideration is the phase in of an 8.1 cent per mile driven fee and a list of fee increases, such as a doubling of vehicle registration fees, an increase of the fee on car rentals, the establishment of an electric car vehicle fee (until the vehicle mile traveled plan would be in place).
The study would also be expected to propose a package fee to be imposed on deliveries from UPS, FedEx and other product delivery entities, and a fee on Uber and Lyft and other transportation network services. The current gas tax would be phased out with the phasing in of the miles driven program.
This provision would be subject to a pilot program to test the development of a reliable collection mechanism for this fee. Observers have pointed out the challenge of collecting this fee from vehicles registered in other states.
And some legislators have already expressed opposition to any monitoring system that might be proposed to be part of a vehicle that might run afoul of privacy concerns.
All of these proposals would need to be adopted by the legislature. Meanwhile, controversy is still swirling around PennDOT’s continued pursuit of its interstate bridge tolling plan that has engendered public and legislative opposition from impacted areas.