2013-06-18


MEDIA ADVISORY Councilman Drozd to Propose Amendment in Opposition for Support of Senate Bill 1

PITTSBURGH - At tonight’s regular meeting of County Council, Council Member Matt Drozd will introduce an amendment to Resolution 7631-13. The amendment will reflect Mr. Drozd’s opposition over Council Support for SB1.

Though infrastructure support is needed, SB1 proposes one of the most significant tax increases in decades to support infrastructure financing that has been delayed by lawmakers for generations and now is falling heavy handedly on Pennsylvania citizens. Further, Counties and municipalities whose citizens are equally contributing to funding infrastructure repair will have no control over which projects are undertaken and there is no provision ensuring that a certain percentage of the repairs and renovations will be done locally.

Contrary to what has been stated by proponents of SB1, Pittsburgh’s Port Authority could suffer additional harm due to SB1’s provisions due to increased control from the State and pitfalls that threaten to withhold matched funding.

Dramatic increases for penalties and fees within the provisions of SB1 will cause an undue burden on businesses and citizens of the Commonwealth and have been raised in some areas to such an extent that it could act to deter businesses from traversing the State.

However, the provision of most concern within SB1 is the plan to uncap the oil-franchise tax. SB 1 would remove the cap over three years, allowing the tax to be levied on the full wholesale price of gasoline and without prohibitions on the pass-through of the additional tax to consumers.

The tax on gasoline in Pennsylvania is already amongst the highest in the U.S. and if SB1 is passed as currently written, Pennsylvania will be the highest taxed state for liquid fuels with an average of 12 cents per gallon higher than the presently highest taxed state in the Nation, California. This would bring the cost of gas in the Pittsburgh area to over four dollars per gallon.

“This kind of tax on my constituents and the citizens of the Commonwealth is not the kind of solution to infrastructure issues that I can support especially in a time when families are struggling to make ends meet.”

CONTACT:  Matt Drozd can be reached at his home office (412-364-1600), or Council office line (412-350-6525).