“There is clearly a need to invest in our roads and bridges here and across the Commonwealth, but I could not support this proposal,” Causer said. “I believe it goes far beyond what is truly necessary and far beyond what the people I represent can afford.”
Under the bill, the tax on gasoline could increase by as much as 28.5 cents and the tax on diesel fuel by 39.8 cents per gallon by 2017.
The tax hikes, along with increases in more than 100 other user fees such as vehicle registrations, licenses and traffic ticket fines, are expected to generate an additional $2.3 billion per year, including $1.65 billion for highways and bridges and nearly $500 million for mass transit. Pennsylvania’s current budget invests $6.8 billion in transportation.
Causer said he was prepared to vote for a proposal that would have been more affordable to taxpayers and still enabled the state to fix structurally deficient bridges and repair the roads that need it the most. However, the proposal was not brought up for a vote.
House Bill 1060 awaits the governor’s signature.