Gas tax increase coming instead of Turnpike lease?

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says Rendell is looking at a gas tax increase in light of the refusal of legislative leaders to consider the lease.

“To make up the shortfall, we’re looking at a gas tax increase,” said
Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo. “Where else are we going to find the money for the
shortfall in transportation funding?”

While we know there are lots of places to make up some of the shortfall — such as repealing prevailing wage and using competitive contracting in mass transit — the gap between needs and potential cost savings is too great. Of course, if the General Assembly and Governor were willing to cut spending elsewhere — which we’ve also recommended time and time again — then we could reprioritize state spending. And what do you think the chances are of all those things happening?

Well, we obviously think higher gas taxes, more bonded debt, and the preservation of the Turnpike Commission are most likely to be the outcome if the lease doesn’t go through. And it is why we believe the lease makes the most economic and public policy sense.