PA Administration Continues Stressing Need to Fully Fund Transportation
John Micek at Capitol Ideas has a good write-up about today’s Rendell presser, at which the PA governor once again underscored the need to fully fund the state’s transportation needs now. His solution for finding revenue? Micek writes:
As he has before, Rendell proposed a tax on the profits of oil companies. Levied at 8 percent, he said it would raise $576 million a year. The Democratic governor, who leaves office in January, also said he wants to impose inflation-adjusted fees on motor vehicle license and registration fees, raising about $434 million.
This year, Rendell and lawmakers must find a way to fill a $472 million transportation funding gap created when the federal government shot down the state’s application to convert Interstate 80 in northern Pennsylvania into a toll road.
A transportation study commission had previously said the state needs to raise $1.7 billion a year to meet its existing transportation and mass-transit funding needs. Rendell said today that figure had been adjusted upward to more than $3 billion a year.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the governor’s plan will have much traction in this legislative session, as the looming elections have many legislators scared to pass any revenue-increasing measures (aka ‘taxes’). Given fear of raising taxes, what will happen to our transportation network this year? Predictions?
And since we’re on the topic of taxes, I want to remind all of you that RenewLV’s next brown-bag session on the topic of municipal finance in Pennsylania is this Friday, August 27, 12pm (noon) to 1:30 pm at the Sigal Museum in Easton. Gerry Cross of the Pennsylvania Economy League, Central Division, will give a brief overview of the state’s municipal finance system as well as a briefing on the various municipal consolidation bills that are being discussed currently in Harrisburg. Click here for more information.