HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania lawmakers on Monday advanced a bill to cut the state’s gas tax, one of the nation’s highest.
Senate Bill 35 would stop the automatic gas tax increase for 2023 and permanently set the wholesale price of gasoline at $2.99 per gallon.
On Monday the bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee by an 11-3 vote.
Pennsylvania’s gas tax increased by 3 cents on Jan. 1, bringing the total to 61 cents a gallon. The price of diesel also increased by four cents per gallon to 78 cents.
Pennsylvania has the second-highest gas tax in the nation behind California.
The Transportation Committee also passed a bill that dedicates gas tax revenues to road and bridge safety projects.
Senate Bill 121 also appropriates millions of dollars in funds to the Pennsylvania State Police from the Motor License Fund. That bill passed by a closer 9-5 vote.
“At a time when our constituents are faced with rising costs at the pump, grocery store and utility bills, no elected officials should be voting against this legislation,” said Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-Cambria/Centre/Clearfield), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Both bills face several additional steps before potentially arriving at the governor’s desk.
On Jan. 9 the average price of a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania was $3.65, which was 34 cents higher than the national average, according to AAA. The state’s highest gas prices are in the northeast and central counties while the Philadelphia region has seen the lowest prices.