Great expectations for Corbett transportation funding plan

This week, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to unveil a comprehensive transportation budget for Pennsylvania.

It’s eagerly awaited.


It’s no secret the nation’s infrastructure is aging, not least in older states such as Pennsylvania. Combined with pressured public transit systems, the situation has become critical.

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The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission estimates the Philadelphia region has a $45 billion transportation deficit to plug over the next 25 years.

Since 2007, Pennsylvania has had a transit budget plan. But it was all predicated on revenue from adding tolls to Interstate 80, which never happened.

“Leaving the Turnpike to contribute something like $400 million to the transit agencies each year,” points out Peter Javsicas, executive director of the advocacy group PenTrans. He says the Turnpike is borrowing money to meet its obligations and the current funding system isn’t sustainable.

Corbett convened a transportation funding commission that delivered recommendations a year and a half ago.

With election season behind him, Corbett reportedly will propose adopting one of them: letting the oil company franchise tax go up. That’s not a tax consumers pay directly. It’s paid by distributors, but it could show up at the pump.

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