Turnpike Commission, PennDOT Fight Over Their Spoils

The Patriot News today reports that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) are arguing over how much money the PTC has to pay PennDOT this year. The Turnpike Commission says $450 million, PennDOT says $922 million.

Act 44 specified the amount the PTC pays the state, but also included a clause that the amount would be $450 million if there isn’t tolling on I-80. As it turns out, there is disagreement as to when that $450 million kicks in.

Really, who would have ever guessed the rushed, misguided, and ill-conceived legislation that became Act 44 would have had major oversights like this?

Of course, the Turnpike Commission has already increased tolls — including another 10% increase on cash-payers scheduled for January — to make their payments. Or rather, to pay off their debts, as all the payments to this point under Act 44 have been made with borrowed money, to be paid off with future tolls (and backed by Pennsylvania’s gas tax).

What this really amounts to is two agencies arguing over who reaps the spoils of their plot to fleece Pennsylvania motorists.