Ode to Taxpayers’ Cars

The Auditor General recently release a new report on state-owned cars. Unless you are enjoying a taxpayer-owned Mercedes, this report won’t make you happy. The report mentions early and often that their is a stunning lack of oversight, including an inability to determine who is driving the cars.

More suprising to me (since I already assume a lack of accountability in government), is the sheer number of cars, and which departments have them – 16,637 vehicles (this excludes all PennDOT vehicles) costing taxpayers $72 million annually. As one might suspect, State Police lead the way with 3,600 vehicles, and the Correction Department is #3 – and I can see the need to have cars to patrol the highways and truck to transport prisoners. But I am quite suprised to see the thousands of cars being used by other departments, state agencies, and legislators and judges. Even the Auditor General’s office itself has 353 cars. How many of these are simply being used to drive into the office? Well, as mentioned above, there’s no way of knowing.