No gas tax hike scheduled in Pa. in 2018 - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

No gas tax hike scheduled in Pa. in 2018

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ERIE, Pa. -

New Year's Day 2017 saw the third and final gas tax hike in Pennsylvania under a sweeping transportation plan, known as Act 89 of 2013, which means no gas tax hike this New Year's Day.

But according to PennDOT, don't expect to see a drop in prices the next time you head to the pump.

"The oil franchise tax is floating according to the costs that the oil companies have," said PennDOT District 1 spokesperson Jim Carroll, who noted that the tax will continue to be passed onto the wholesaler, who will likely pass the fee onto the consumer.

It's no secret by now that Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the nation. According to the American Petroleum Institute, 77 cents out of every gallon of gasoline purchased goes to local, state and federal governments.

1. Pennsylvania: $.77

2. California: $.71

3. Washington: $.67

4. Hawaii: $.63

5. New York: $.62

The national average is just 51 cents, according to the API.

State lawmakers passed the plan in 2013 with one goal: to generate upwards to $2.4 billion to re-build Pennsylvania's crumbling and aging infrastructure. Before Act 89, Carroll said, the system was underfunded for decades.

"We've had 90 projects worth more than $200 million under construction in 2017," he said. "Without Act 89, we would not have been able to do that."

Those changes are visible through a number of local projects underway or completed last summer.. They include work on E. 38th St. in Erie; the Interchange Rd. project near the Millcreek Mall; and the pair of new roundabouts in Saegertown in Crawford County are all products of gas tax.

"We have 574 state-owned bridges Erie County, only 26 are structurally deficient," Carroll said. "That's 4.5 percent."

That oil franchise tax will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. But PennDOT says that's what's needed, to modernize Pennsylvania's state-owned roadways, which covers over 40,000 miles, more than New York, New Jersey, and all of the New England states combined.

See the projects Act 89 is funding in your area

PennDOT continues to update this interactive map highlighting all of the projects funded by Act 89.

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