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Eliminating the Gasoline Tax (Temporarily)

A state senator from Monroeville has proposed eliminating the 31.2¢/gallon gasoline tax to give drivers a break at the pump.  On the surface that looks like a good idea.  The theory is that loosing that 31¢ would drop the average price to $2.65, but what looks good on paper, doesn’t always translate in reality.

The gasoline tax is what keeps our highways and byways from falling apart.  You can make your own jokes here, I’ll wait.

Done?  OK.  PennDOT already has their back against a wall with loosing Federal highway money to mass transit across the state.  Numerous projects have been shelved, such as the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway which will carry US 15 around Shamokin Dam, while others have been put on the “chopping block” outright due to this funding situation. Eliminating the gasoline tax would be yet another blow to an already weakened budget.

Prices wouldn’t necessarily go down as a result. The oil companies would pocket that extra money for themselves more than likely.

The problems are speculation and the oil companies.  We are at a point where a butterfly sneezes on a pipeline, and the price skyrockets but afterwards it slowly falls.  Why?  It’s not as if God handed Moses a third tablet with oil prices up on the mount.  It seems to me that gasoline is the only thing in this world that appreciates with value, which makes me want to siphon my tank and sell it back to the station at the higher rate. I want to get in on this deal too.

The oil companies are pocketing way too much.  I’m an ExxonMobil stockholder, and before you call me “money bags,” I’ll let you in on something.  The dividend per stock share is only 27¢, but the way they’ve been raking in money hand over fist, I and all other stockholders should be retired and living the good life.

Eliminating the gas tax would affect gasoline and diesel sales.

PennDOT: Suspending Gas Tax Would Delay Road Projects Without Helping Drivers – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 
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Events News

PA Turnpike 43 Groundbreaking Ceremony

I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Uniontown to Brownsville section of PA Turnpike 43/Mon-Fayette Expressway today.  As a result, its exit guide and Mon-Fayette Expressway/Southern Beltway Progress Map have both been updated.  Pictures of the ceremony are on the PA Turnpike 43 page.

This was the first groundbreaking I have attended, and it was basically what I expected. Local and state officials there to give speeches on how each had a hand in helping to bring the Mon-Fayette Expressway to fruition.  Then there was the ceremonial first spade toss of dirt to signal the start of construction followed by a catered lunch for all who attended that included Stromboli, hot wings, BBQ wings, vegetables, cake, and cookies.  I gave it four stars out of five.

One of the speakers was Senator J. Barry Stout, who is one of many state officials who spearheaded the project.  The senator also happens to be the Chairman of the State Transportation Committee.  After the ceremony I introduced myself and asked if I could interview him.  He gave me his business card and told me to call his office sometime.

Once the speeches from the various state and local officials were over, it was time to get down to business. We left the tent where we had lunch and headed out to the spot where the ceremony would take place.

Groundbreaking ceremony on April 1, 2006 in Uniontown for the section of PA Turnpike 43 between US 119 and Brownsville.
PA Turnpike 43 groundbreaking ceremony outside of Uniontown

Mon/Fayette Expressway – Uniontown to Brownsville Area – Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

 
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