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Corbett budget could mean higher gas prices

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his 2013-14 budget Tuesday at the State Capitol. In his plan he wants to raise gasoline tax revenues over five years to generate billions of dollars to invest in roads, bridges and more.

This plan will likely cause already rising gas prices to go even higher. Most of the money would come from an increase in revenues from the oil company franchise tax. Corbett wants to lift a cap tax on oil and gas companies which could raise gas prices by more than 20 cents a gallon.

The tax is paid on the wholesale price of gas and is presently assessed only up to $1.25 per gallon.

“This is not a new tax, nor am I proposing to increase the rate of the existing tax,” he said. “I am simply saying the time has come to apply it to the full value of what the company is selling. It is time for oil and gas companies to pay their fair share of the cost of infrastructure supporting their industry.”

The increase depends on how much of the increase gets passed to consumers.

The governor also wants to lower the liquid fuels tax that is paid at the pump over two years by 2 cents a gallon, from 12 cents to 10 cents.  It’s a 17% decrease.

Alpesh Patel owns the Shop N Drive in Harrisburg. He says the increase will directly impact consumers. “If the governor is going to raise the tax for the gas company eventually their going to come to the consumer and end of the day we have to go up too. 20 cents or 3 cents, it’s a lot.”