Turnpike Commission will cost Taxpayers $37 Billion

Critics of a Turnpike lease—including Rep. Joe Markosek—have offered the claim that Act 44, even without tolling of I-80, represents more revenue to taxpayers of the state than a lease. That claim is erroneous. The Commonwealth Foundation projects that, over the next 50 years, a lease deal would generate $37 billion more for the state than Act 44, absent I-80 tolling.

Under the contract to toll I-80, the Turnpike Commission promises to pay $450 million annually to the state if I-80 is not tolled ($22.5 billion over 50 years). A Turnpike Lease would – even using an estimate of 7.5% interest, rather than Governor Rendell’s generous 12% estimate – generate far more revenue for the state.

While the Turnpike Commission talking points mention costs of the lease (namely the cost of policing the Turnpike), they fail to mention the savings, including $87 million annually in subsidies from the state Motor License Fund and Oil Company Franchise Tax.

Pennsylvania Transportation Partners would pay the state an an estimated $3.3 to $4.2 billion in the Corporate Net Income Tax over the 75-year lease.

Click here for our news release.