Wasting no time to address the issue on the minds of many Pennsylvanians this new year, the state Senate passed a bill during the first week of the new legislative session to reverse the 2023 tax increase that just went into effect on gasoline and diesel.
SB 35, sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc (R-Cambria), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, passed the Senate by a vote of 29-19.
On January 1, Pennsylvania’s gas tax, which is levied at the wholesale level, increased by 3 cents to more than 61 cents per gallon and its diesel tax increased by 4 cents to almost 79 cents per gallon. These rates make Pennsylvania fuel taxes the second highest in the nation.
Fuel tax rates are set by a formula put in place by Act 89 of 2013, and this is the first time they have increased since the law went into effect. Act 89 set the floor of the “average wholesale price” of gas at $2.99. But if the average wholesale price remains above this level for 12 months, the Department of Revenue calculates a tax increase in the oil company franchise tax according to a formula in the law. Because the tax increase is mandatory, a change in the state law is required to stop it.
SB 35 would amend the definition of “average wholesale price” to set it permanently at $2.99, thereby reversing the tax increase that went into effect at the beginning of the year and ensures that it will not increase going forward.
Interested PMTA members should contact their House member to ask for their support of SB 35.
See PMTA's support letter here: PMTA Support for Senate Bill 35 1-10-2023.pdf