HARRISBURG (News Release) — After casting her fourth "no" vote in less than a week, Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) issued the following statement regarding Thursday evening’s final passage of a transportation funding plan that contains a $2.3 billion increase in gas taxes and fees on Pennsylvania drivers:
“There is no excuse to impose an additional $2.3 billion gas tax and fee increase on Pennsylvania motorists when we already spend close to $7 billion annually on transportation. My constituents view this transportation plan which is now awaiting the governor’s signature as more money they are going to have pay to fuel and maintain their vehicles to subsidize mass transit for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“Any additional revenue that comes out of this transportation funding plan comes at the full expense and burden of Pennsylvania motorists. While I agree with the governor that funding and maintaining our infrastructure is a core function of government, I disagree with the direction that has been taken to achieve this priority.
“The people I represent who already drive long distances to work can barely afford to pay for gas and put food on the table now. They simply cannot afford to bear an increase of as much as 28 cents per gallon for regular gasoline or up to 40 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. Going beyond the significant taxes that will be collected directly at the pump, my residents will also be hard pressed to pay for the more than 100 individual transportation fee increases, or even the $5 annual vehicle registration tax that every county across Pennsylvania will soon have the option of imposing on their residents.
“All the while, the price every single, essential item on the shelf that my residents need to support themselves and their families now has the potential to go up due to the significantly increased cost of transporting goods and products to market. Perhaps the most frustrating part of this entire transportation funding debate is that none of the alternative funding options that do not include a gas tax increase were ever called up for consideration.”