Changes To State Tax Bring Higher Gas Prices

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WILKES-BARRE — The first day of the new year means higher prices at the pump.  Changes to the state tax on gas kicked in at midnight.

Some drivers say they don’t mind paying more for fuel so the state can repair rough roads.

Some people spending the first day of 2014 on the road say the hot topic during the car ride has been gas prices going up overnight.

“They’re absolutely horrible. I think something should have been done years ago instead of suddenly raising all these taxes on the gas prices,” said Lynn Rotzell of Allentown.

During a stop to fill her car’s tank at Sheetz on Route 309 in Wilkes-Barre, Rotzell says she’s surprised to see gas prices up to $3.59 a gallon because the state’s comprehensive transportation bill kicked in at midnight.

To raise an estimated $2.3 billion over the next five years, lawmakers voted to eliminate the flat retail gas tax and uncap the wholesale tax for fuel distributors who then may pass on the increase to drivers.

For 2014, that means an extra dime in taxes for every gallon of gas.

By 2018, it will be an additional 28 cents.

Peter Pugh of Virginia says he was surprised to see the price jump as he spends the holiday driving across the commonwealth.

“I’d say about 20 cents or so, not entirely sure.”

Some other drivers tell us that they have budgeted for higher prices at the gas pumps in the new year, and they don’t mind as long as those funds are used to fix rough roads and bridges.

“It’s bigger than what we expected, but then again it’s not a surprise because it’s become status quo. That’s what it is. It’s going to happen sooner or later. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” said Charley Flannery of Wilkes-Barre.

The governor’s office says the taxes collected through this new law will go to help pay for paving projects, replacing dangerous bridges, and creating new construction jobs.


  • joe

    I don’t mind paying a little more in taxes to have good roads and bridges. What I do think is that NO NEW ROADS OR BRIDGES should be built until they fix our existing roads and bridges first. I don’t mean for them to put down gallons of crack seal (i.e the Morgan Highway) or signs up that say ROUGH ROAD AHEAD, NO GUIDE RAILS, NO PAVEMENT MARKINGS. In the past when gas rose to near $4.00, people cut back on their driving and the state said that this impacted road funds and projects. What do they think will happen when the taxes are added each year and the gas companies raise their prices again for whatever reasons they can think of. It is a shame what is happening in PA. and our country. Our government has become a burden on us.we need to go to the polls and change things before they take away that right or find a way to tax it.

  • Dee

    Where did the money go you ask? To the Potato’s!!! Keep in mind folks, these over paid people of gov’t wasted time and money passing a law for potatoes.. now there is the true colors of our govt.

    All of Harrisburg needs to surrender there large pay checks, company paid cars. company gas cards, expense allotments and live on minimum wage for a year and see how creative they can get. We have a lot of creative people in this state that have to make it work. lets see if they can do it. My guess is no… And we wonder why crime, unemployment, drug are on the rise. People can’t take much more and are at the breaking point in life.. Who is going to help us now??

  • Robert Ziomek

    Raised tolls were supposed to help our roads too! The State probably hired a 100 people to count the money and drain half of it away with full healtth care, office space, gas cards and 100,000$ yr jobs!

    One More Thing, Does this tax effect our federal grants for roads?

  • ryry

    So, we ‘saved’ money on all of his cuts, where is that money? Why not use that to fix the 1000 miles of roads that haven’t been touched in 10 years? Its funny how every state but ours can take care of their roads.
    That should tell you something

  • Mike

    It was just on national news that oil prices are going to go down 10% now the state is going to tax it back up again – I think every law maker in that state from the Governor down should take a 15000 Dollar pay cut because they are not doing their job and their not using our taxes wisely

  • Matt

    My concern is we are now paying more for health care due to the ACA, my mortgage escrow is now more due to property tax, now more at the pump drive back and forth to work

  • Curt

    I just read in the last few weeks the politicians in Harrisburg got 2million in per diem and they needed no receipts to get that money. That would have made a good down payment to fix the highways and bridges just think that would be 10 million in 5 years. If they can’t live on there pay as being the 2nd highest paid legislator in the US. Than they don’t need any extra money that is tax free.

  • Todd Oswald

    What happened to all the money from the Casino’s that was slated to go for bridge and road repairs? I guess all the politicians lined their pockets with that money. They just keep getting richer while the working class just keeps getting poorer.

  • Doug

    Most of the 10 cent raise will be wasted or stolen, just like much of the current gas tax money is. We’ll get maybe 2 cents worth of bridge & road repairs, enough so the politicians can claim some improvement. Then in 2018, we’ll be told they need to raise taxes yet again because the bridges and roads are still in bad condition.

  • Janet Den Haese Anderson

    well let’s see here……the Gov bragged that his budget DIDN’T raise taxes…however…my property taxes have gone up and now the gas tax….sounds like taxes have gone up to me…but what I think doesn’t matter much to them. Unemployment benefits have ended for thousands in Pa. and these very same people will get cuts in their SNAP benefits. So we have more people that are going to be applying for cash benefits, LIHEAP benefits and so forth. So we have more people that have no money, less food and have to pay more for gas. Pa. is becoming the poverty state in the country. All you people who voted for these clowns and now find your throats being cut you are getting exactly what you voted for. 3 Years ago the President presented congress with a jobs bill that would have paid for the infrastructure repairs but Boehner and his buddies wouldn’t even bring it to the floor for a vote so now we are paying for it AGAIN. And let’s not forget the big tax breaks the gas and oil companies are getting while we pay more.

    • Mary VanKuren

      I liked the fact that gas prices were cheaper in PA than NY by at least 20 cents. Whenever I drove to Wilkes-barre, I waited to fill up my car at Lorbeeze outside of Tunkhannock. Now, bummer, your going to be paying the same price as NY. Right now gas is 3.65 a gallon.

  • Lisa

    I am a home health aid and I can not afford to pay more taxes. Gas prices were high enough. When do the people that work for home health get a break?

  • Jonathan

    I can’t wait to sit in the interstate parking lots during all of this construction and burn up this expensive fuel. Maybe I will listen to some audio learning CD’s so I can gain additional skills that will enable me to make more money to pay for the gas. While I’m at it I may as well make plans to stop spending. If the government can’t budget the money that I give them correctly then they money I get to keep needs to be budgeted correctly. This is like a total win win!

  • Kevin

    Higher gas prices don’t just effect those that drive, it also effects the transportation of goods and services. Food will cost more, home heating oil will cost more, prices on just about everything will go up and will the roads and bridges get fixed? No.

    Everyone has heard these lies over and over again and where does all this new revenue go? Not where it was promised, it never does.

    From the Governor thru Congress and to the White House, these politicians need to go.

  • Irritated Pennsylvanian

    I am so sick of this. Pennsylvania has the most backwards government I have ever seen. I for one can’t afford to pay a higher gas price. I commute from the Poconos to Wilkes-Barre for my job. This is ridiculous. They should have increased sales tax or something else. Citizens use gas for their cars for their livelihood. Now people are not going to be able to afford to get to work. I can’t stand this Governor that’s in office. He needs to go. He has been dragging down PA. This is the most derelict and dilapidated state in the country. There’s no jobs. I need to move.

  • Robert

    what i dont get is this pa governor said the roads need to be fixed but he dont care where the money comes from they should of used the tax money before to fix the roads we pay high gas prices already the people never get a brake because of the wrong people being in office. thats why i dont vote for them thats what they are about more money and rises taxs.

    • Irritated Pennsylvanian

      Exactly. They will use our tax money and go on vacation, sipping on Rose and eating their $50 steaks along with their $60 shrimp cocktail. Oh and don’t forget their $3500 jar of Beluga Caviar.

  • Brian

    Our governor is one person that absolutely can care less about the people in this state. Cuts to education , refuses to tax the well drilling companies and now raises tax on gas. I wonder what he would do if he had to pay for gas instead of the taxpayer.

  • disabled taxpayer

    I’m glad i’m disabled and dont drive . So far the state is not after the people who use battery power scooters . But give it a little bit of time & they will put a scooter use TAX on us

    • ryry

      Oh, Im sure they are getting there. They cut unemployment, they cut SNAP, they cut cash assistance before. They will probably try to lower disabled persons food stamps next too. Can’t stand this office…

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