New, higher taxes and fees in Pa. transit fund plan

Dwight Evans and other House Democrats apparently have their own plan for funding transportation, which includes:

  • Certificate of vehicle title, now $22.50, would increase by $6.50, to $29
  • Drivers’ record information (typically requested by employers/insurance companies), now $5, would triple to $15
  • Certificate of vehicle inspection, now $2, would increase by $3.50, to $5.50
  • New emissions sticker fee, $3.50
  • Motor vehicle rental fee, now $2, would increase by $3, to $5
  • New tire fee, now $1, would increase by $1.50, to $2.50
  • Professional sports tickets, now exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax, would be taxed at that rate
  • Tolls would be levied for the first time on Interstate 80; tolls would be raised on the turnpike in 2010
  • Gas taxes would go up in 2009

There is no legislation for this plan yet – Capitolwire reports that “The Democrats’ plan is still in the drafting stages, but Evans expected the matter to be debated on Thursday when it will be amended into another bill on the House floor.”

I assume the bill in question is HB 1590, which was introduced and passed by the House Transportation Committee (on party lines) yesterday – with no time for review. It is a 69 page bill – but 95% of it deletes current law on mass transit funding – the rest states the goals of giving more options for local funding of mass transit, and states that a Turnpike lease “is an idea worth considering.”

If that doesn’t sound like the Schoolhouse Rock version of “I’m just a bill“, welcome to Pennsylvania.