Westmoreland County Chamber’s Gas Tax Hypocrisy Not Lost In Translation
6/24/2013
By Westmoreland County State Representatives Tim Krieger, Mike Reese, George Dunbar and Eli Evankovich

We appreciate the concerns expressed by the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce in a full page ad in the Sunday Tribune-Review, in which they purport to speak for the business community in demanding additional transportation funding.

Let us translate what, in the present political context in Harrisburg, the Chamber is demanding of your elected representatives:

Pass an annual $2.5 billion gasoline tax increase, which is one of the largest tax increases in Pennsylvania history, and, if passed, will result in Pennsylvania having among the highest fuel tax rates in the nation. By all estimates, this will result in nearly a $0.29 per gallon increase.

We can’t but help to notice that, while many in the business community are the first to remind us that higher business taxes discourage economic development and job creation, they don’t seem to believe that higher gasoline taxes will discourage economic growth and job creation.

In fact, according to the statement in their ad, the Chamber demands that state lawmakers vote for higher gasoline taxes for the sake of jobs and a healthy economy. We reflect on those struggling to make ends meet, families who are working two jobs to pay the mortgage and save a little for the kids’ college fund, or senior citizens who hope they have enough money at the end of the month to buy groceries and pay their tax bill.

Why the inconsistency? We candidly ask the Chamber to explain how higher taxes on business is a bad thing, but higher taxes on the rest of us is a good thing. We as a delegation support spending on infrastructure. However, we just cannot ask taxpayers to pay more when there is still an option to utilize existing tax dollars to fund transportation.

Representative Tim Krieger
57th District
Representative Mike Reese
59th District
Representative George Dunbar
56th District
Representative Eli Evankovich
54th District

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
717.772.9979
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