A state commission’s recipe for revamping transportation funding includes eliminating the gasoline tax while increasing vehicle registration and rental fees and adding new ones like taxes for package delivery, miles driven, and Uber and Lyft rides.
The 42-member Transportation Revenue Options Commission reviewed the proposed changes Wednesday that will be included in a draft of a report, the final version of which will go to Gov. Tom Wolf by the end of the month.
Wolf appointed the commission in March to find alternatives to the gasoline tax, which has been relatively flat for several years due to more efficient vehicles and the growth of electric vehicles — to close an $8.1 billion annual gap cited by PennDOT for road and bridge work.
The proposal calls for changes in three phases: the first two years, the next two years and five years or longer, with the new or increased charges starting at various times because some would require legislative approval. The new revenue sources are projected to generate $3.5 billion annually in the first phase, $6.6 billion in the second phase and $11.5 billion in the third.
The largest new revenue source and the most dramatic change would be establishing a tax of 8.1 cents a mile for each mile a vehicle is driven. That move — which wouldn’t begin until the third phase and would require legislative approval and a pilot period to test a collection method — is projected to generate $8.9 billion a year.
A fee of $1 for every package delivered by major companies like Amazon, FedEx and UPS, as well as local groceries and restaurants, could generate $785 million in the first phase and grow to $844.2 million by the third phase.