PennDOT explains why gas tax hike is needed

- Get ready to pay more at the gas pump in Pennsylvania.

Starting Sunday, Jan. 1, the state's gas tax will increase eight cents a gallon at the wholesale level, and it’s a good bet gas stations will pass that increase on to us consumers.

The Keystone State already has the highest gas tax in the country, but PennDOT says it also has one of the largest highway systems.

“In 2013, we were awarding about $1.6 billion a year in work. Now we're up to about $2.4 billion,” according to PennDOT’s Rich Kirkpatrick. “That translates into many more miles of improvements, many more bridges that are repaired.”

The increase should mean nearly a billion dollars more a year in road and bridge improvements.

By the way, the tax will be about 78 cents per gallon, up from just under 70 cents this year. The state gas tax portion will be about 58 cents per gallon, while federal tax will take up 18.4 cents per gallon and an underground storage tank fee will be 1.1 cents per gallon.

You may remember in November, New Jersey increased its gas tax by 23 cents a gallon.

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