By Dom Giordano
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Gas prices for much of the country and region have been steadily falling for months, with prices in some areas as low as under $2 a gallon. However, with the gas tax being implemented in the already expensive gas state of Pennsylvania many are seeing it going in the opposite direction.
Erin Waters-Trasatt, as spokeswoman for PennDOT talked with WPHT midday host Dom Giordano about its importance and how it has affected the Philadelphia area.
“Pennsylvanians are seeing tons of benefits from this action and if you also want to compare us to other states, a lot of other states are trying to do what we did and they’re a lot more reliant on federal funding with projects. So without this act you wouldn’t have seen a lot of projects last year like repaving City Avenue, repaving 95 near the airport, the Westchester pike, and a lot of other projects that simply would not have happened without this action and we all know that we really needed it after last winter.”
Erin denied attempts at trying to compare Pennsylvania’s situation with other states by explaining that since “a lot of states fund their transportation system out of their general fund as well, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison when you see a lot of those state-by-state comparisons. We have a much more robust transit system in Pennsylvania than a lot of other states have so it is very difficult to give a fair comparison between other states. “
She maintains that due to the “competitive marketplace” that gas stations exist in, she has seen or heard of a great deal of variance in prices in the state that have been affected by the tax, which according to her, “there is a lot of data out there that shows taxes and fees make up a very, very, very, small percentage of the price of gas.”
In the end, Erin feels that the tax had to happen because of the increasing “cost of doing business.”
“We needed more revenue simply. The program was going to keep decreasing, but the price of doing business has kept increasing…So, we all know that the price has been going up on doing other aspects of business. You’ve seen your other utility bills going up and our revenue stream was not. So now we’re able to make these repairs.“
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