If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – seems to be the motto of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as they seek once again to Toll I-80. The federal Highway Administration has already denied the request by the PTC twice, because it is doesn’t meet the legal requirements. The PTC wants to redistribute the funds from tolling I-80 to other road projects, and to fund mass transit in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, against federal law. The PTC is hoping they will have more luck getting approval Obama’s administration, which could possibly interpret the federal law differently.
The Alliance to Stop I-80 Tolling released a detailed response to the PTC tolling I-80. The Alliance’s response highlights how tolling I-80 would devastate local Pennsylvania businesses and communities, because it essentially taxes the rural areas around I-80 to fund the already inefficient and poorly managed mass transits in the cities.
The Alliance promises, “We will fight this proposal with a bipartisan approach from local state & federal officials as well as increased engagement from citizens and businesses who see this latest development for what it is, a blatant attempt by the Turnpike Commission, Governor Rendell and his Democrat administration to influence behind closed doors President Obama’s new Democrat administration.”
Congressman Glenn Thompson also has a critical response to the PTC’s latest application.
This request by the PTC serves as another shining example of fiscally irresponsible legislation that discourages investment in Pennsylvania. Perhaps Pennsylvania’s government officials wouldn’t have to give large subsidies to bring in new development to the state if they weren’t enacting so many policies to discourage it.