PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The first of every year always means a tax hike in something, and 2017 is no different, starting with something most of us feel at the gas pump.
“I think that’s horrible,” said one woman pumping gas.
“It’s ridiculous,” added a man.
How about starting the year with those gasoline prices?
It wasn’t that long ago when we were paying two bucks a gallon. But look at it now — $2.65 — and much of that is a higher gasoline tax.
Overnight, the state gasoline tax jumped eight cents a gallon, after a 9-cent hike in 2014 and a 10-cent hike in 2015.
This brings Pennsylvania’s state and federal gas tax to 76 cents a gallon, the highest in the nation.
Driving the Pennsylvania Turnpike also got more expensive as tolls go up six percent on Jan. 8, the ninth straight year of toll hikes.
Also going up — those window vehicle inspection stickers.
They go up a buck on July 1, but those pesky little license plate stickers will disappear this year.
“It only eliminated the sticker. It did not eliminate the need to register your vehicles,” says Alexis Dow Campbell, a PennDOT spokeswoman.
In other words, you won’t save any money, but it does cut down the hassle.
There is one new law, effective Jan. 17, that many will like.
“This will be great for us, and also for consumers,” Jaime Hively told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Beer distributors will be able to sell beer in any quantity, six-packs, four-packs, singles, mixed, and growlers.
“Grocery stores have been doing this for five years. Definitely taking a lot of business away from us. And now we’re definitely going to be competitive,” says Hively at the women-owned Mellinger Beer Distributor in Oakland.
Hively says distributors will be able to offer lower prices than others.
“Coming to distributors is always cheaper, so definitely still coming here will definitely be the best place to come get your singles, four-packs and six-packs, price-wise.”
And here’s another change.
Bars can now sell alcohol at 9 a.m. on Sundays, and sporting venues can add mixed drinks to their menu.