PA Commission Formed To Phase Out Gasoline Tax Hosts Second Meeting
The Commission was appointed by Gov. Wolf to study and propose alternatives to the state’s current motor fuel tax.
At the meeting, the Commission members were asked to prioritize a variety of proposals brought before it to determine those worthy of further study.
High on that list was the issue of funding of the State Police, which currently comes from gasoline and diesel tax revenue.
Highway builders for years have argued that this revenue should be allocated solely to highway and bridge construction and maintenance.
Previous Governors (as well as Gov. Wolf) had proposed in their budget plans that municipalities that use the State Police as their local police department should be assessed for those services.
This idea has been a non-starter with the legislature.
A different twist to this concept in the Commission discussion was to study funding the State Police entirely from the state’s General Fund.
Another proposal which is relatively high on the group’s interest list is a Vehicle Miles Travelled plan. This would establish a fee that would be assessed on the annual mileage of a vehicle.
Challenges to that plan would be how the mileage per mile on each vehicle would be determined and the fact that vehicles registered out of state would not be part of the system.
Some members of the Commission stated that this plan could only work if it was a federal program.
At its May meeting, the Commission will receive a presentation from consultants who are experts in this field.
The creation of a tax on electric vehicles was also considered a high priority-and will be further examined by the Commission.
Other plans that will be considered are the tolling of the interstates and interstate bridges in the state-although the legislators on the panel expressed doubts that the General Assembly would approve such recommendations.
Another idea floated was a toll on vehicles traveling through areas and periods of high traffic congestion.
The Commission’s report is due in August.
Visit the Transportation Funding Revenue Options Commission webpage for more information.