Senate Transportation Proposal Rolls On

In a bipartisan vote, the state Senate approved a bill that would fund a $2.5 billion increase in Pennsylvania’s transportation funding.

Like Gov. Corbett’s budget, the proposal calls for uncapping the oil franchise tax paid by wholesale gasoline dealers, which currently sits at $1.25 per gallon.  That is, the tax is only charged on the first $1.25 of gasoline prices. 

The Senate proposal would also increase driver’s license fees from $29.50 for every four years to $50.50 for every six years. Vehicle registration fees would increase from $36 per year to $104 for two years. The bill would add a “surcharge” for various traffic violations.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a breakdown of how the proposed $2.5 billion would be spent:

Under the bill, the lion’s share of money, about $1.9 billion a year, would go toward highways and bridges. Roughly $500 million a year would go to mass transit, including funding to help them convert their fleets to alternative fuels. About $115 million would be shared among airports, ports, rail freight, and walking and biking routes.

The annual Pennsylvania Turnpike payments to PennDOT would be eliminated after eight years.

The Senate’s bill differs from Governor Corbett’s proposal, which also included uncapping the oil franchise tax, but does not contain any new fees or fines. Governor Corbett’s proposal is estimated to raise $1.8 billion for transportation funding, $700 million less than the Senate’s proposal, and is phased in over a longer time frame.

To find solutions for fixing Pennsylvania’s deficient roads and bridges, check out CF’s Principles for Transportation Funding.