A newly proposed transportation funding package uses Governor Tom Corbett’s plan as a baseline, then goes even further. In February, Governor Corbett outlined a plan that would raise $1.8-billion dollars annually by year five. Tuesday, Senate Transportation Chairman John Rafferty unveiled legislation that would generate $2.5-billion by year three.
Both proposals would uncap the Oil Company Franchise Tax that gas stations pay, but Rafferty also wants to add a $100-dollar surcharge to traffic violations and hike the state’s vehicle & registration fees that have gone unchanged since 1997.
“We aren’t just going to resurface roads and pave bridges,” Rafferty says, “we’re actually going to add capacity to our transportation infrastructure, which is something that is critically needed. New lanes on roads, new intersections, new bridges.”
The substantial new investment in Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure is designed to improve public safety, create new construction jobs and attract new businesses to the area. The estimated cost would be $2.50, per week, for the average motorist in Pennsylvania.
PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch was among the many stakeholders to join Rafferty for Tuesday’s announcement. Schoch praised the leadership of Sen. Rafferty, but stopped short of fully endorsing his proposal. “The governor and I have always said we’re open to a dialog… obviously there are balances between the cost to consumers and the benefit,” Schoch says. “This is a great beginning point of that debate and discussion.”