Saying “No” To the Gas Tax Hike

On Thursday, Nov. 21, the House voted and sent to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk a plan to fund Pennsylvania’s infrastructure needs. House Bill 1060 will pay for improvements to our roads and bridges through tax increases on gasoline and diesel fuel that will inevitably be passed on to consumers, as well as numerous increases in fees such as driver licenses and vehicle registration.

I had four opportunities that week to vote on the controversial transportation funding plan. I voted against the proposal on each occasion – three times as an amendment to House Bill 106 and on final passage as House Bill 1060.

I ran on the promise to defend the taxpayers in the 137th Legislative District, and kept my promise by opposing this plan. While we need to address our infrastructure needs, the taxpayer should NOT be the first option when looking for additional revenue.

A thorough audit of PennDOT’s $6.8 billion budget and spending practices could have been performed first. Two-thirds of their budget is already allocated for our infrastructure needs. Bridges that are being weight-restricted with the threat of closure should have been prioritized and repaired well before their status reached the crisis level. 

In addition, alternative sources of revenue exist in proposed legislation. House Bill 220 would use money derived from the sale of the state-owned liquor stores for infrastructure needs. House bills 762 and 1630 would move the sales tax revenue generated by the sale of motor vehicles from the General Fund into the Motor License Fund, which could also be used to address our roads and bridges.

Our residents already have difficulty filling their gas tanks, buying groceries, purchasing prescriptions and paying their property taxes. This legislation increases the burden on them, when other funding sources could have been considered.    

Questions about this event or any legislative issue should be directed to my Mt. Bethel office at (570) 897-0401 or my Nazareth office at (610) 746-5090.

Representative Joe Emrick
137th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 /

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