Pennsylvania State Senator favors raising the gas tax to pay for road, bridge repairs

Raising the state tax on gasoline and increasing other motor vehicle fees are the only ways to solve Pennsylvania’s transportation funding crisis, state Senator Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin County, said today.  Speaking at a legislative forum hosted by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, Piccola said gas taxes and vehicle fees go into a dedicated fund for road and bridge repairs that guarantees money for those projects.  Money from the state’s General Fund is not used for those purposes.  “We have in this state a Motor License Fund, which is the closest thing to a government lock box … that I’ve seen in government anywhere,” Piccola said.  “If you want good roads and good highways, you gotta put money into that fund,” he said.  “The only way I know to get money into that fund is to raise the taxes that go into it.”  Piccola said he’s voted for every gasoline tax increase brought before the state Legislature.  Governor Tom Corbett made a campaign promise not to raise taxes or fees. Piccola conceded that because of that he did not think the gas tax would increase. Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature, but leaders have not said they would back a gas tax hike. Rising gas prices could also present an obstacle to increasing the state’s 32.3 cents-per-gallon tax right now.  Patriot News 2/23

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