Gas Prices

Pennsylvania has the HIGHEST fuel taxes in the nation!  We pay $0.576 per gallon for gasoline and $0.741 per gallon for diesel in state tax.  That’s higher than even California!

Pennsylvanians pay another $0.184 per gallon of gasoline in federal taxes ($0.244 per gallon for diesel). The state taxes are supposed to fund, at least in part, the maintenance of our roads and bridges. Yet, visitors come into Chester and Delaware Counties and see the deplorable condition of nearly every state-maintained road. Where are those tax dollars going?

Gas prices have doubled in the last two years! The reasons for this can be argued, but the effect hurts every American regardless of income level. Record level fuel costs not only impact commuters going to work or school, but every other aspect of our supply chain in this world-wide economy on which we depend. Ships, airplanes, trains, and trucks all transport goods from one part of the world to another and they all use fuel. The increase in fuel charges is passed directly onto the consumer in most cases. The prices of everything from groceries to construction supplies are increasing and every consumer is feeling the pain. Why can’t our state government do something to ease the burden of these skyrocketing gas prices? Well, they can. 

Some states have already suspended their gas tax in an effort to lower fuel costs and others are considering it. Since Pennsylvania’s tax is the highest in the country and our roads and bridges are not better for it, we call on Harrisburg to suspend the state gas tax today! Gas prices could be lower in Chester and Delaware Counties tomorrow if our state government would put the people first.

Federal Government Spending

In January 2021 the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act became law. Federal government spending has existed for decades without transparency and detail. We have no idea how many dollars are being spent on what. Although they are still working out the implementation of this law with the help of Senator Lankford (OK), we hope that we will soon be able to see how our government is spending our tax dollars. For the latest on federal government wasteful spending, see Senator Lankford’s “Federal Fumbles.”

Local Government Spending

In 2021, Delaware County payrolls increased by more than two million dollars from the prior year, while the County Council added millions of dollars in new consultant contracts. This spending spree is likely to increase the county real estate tax by 20% or more over the next several years. Broad and Liberty wrote about this issue in the fall of 2021.

Additionally, Delaware County routinely employed Monarch Staffing, a temporary staffing agency, after their contract expired and without a competitive bid. The county council is not employing fiscal responsibility when it signed a lease agreement for a property in a Yeadon strip mall wherein the rental rate increased 33% each year. As Broad and Liberty explains in the linked article, “those costs are more than 40% above the asking price advertised by the landlord.” County Controller JoAnne Phillips brought these and other issues to the county council in an effort to increase transparency and reign in government spending practices. 

Of course Philadelphia does not escape scrutiny in its spending practices. A report from the Philadelphia City Controller says there was lack of financial oversight within the city’s Sheriff Office, giving Sheriff Rochelle Bilal carte blanche in how to spend tens of millions of dollars every year. Besides the budgeted dollars for the Sheriff’s Office, the department also collects the revenues and fees from the sale of court-ordered mortgage and tax foreclosed properties. The office managed roughly 8,000 to 9,000 sales annually before the pandemic, but it’s difficult to say where that money goes or how it’s spent, the Controller’s report indicated. 

Finally, we can’t overlook Chester County which has the highest median property taxes out of all the southeastern PA counties, ranking 59th out of the 3,143 counties in the country.

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