HARRISBURG – Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) tonight issued the following statement in response to his colleagues’ vote to shoot down a massive tax hike and fee increase in order to generate revenue for Pennsylvania’s transportation needs:
"As we debated legislation tonight which would have resulted in a huge and destructive tax increase at the gas pumps for Pennsylvania motorists, I reminded my colleagues that Pennsylvania already spends $6.8 billion per year on transportation infrastructure, the 11th highest amount per-road-mile of any state in the nation. When the votes were tallied, I was pleased to see my colleagues join me in standing up for the taxpayers, who are already footing an enormous bill for road and bridge repairs, by voting no to putting Pennsylvania at the top of the list for the highest gas tax.
"The real answer is simple, but also more difficult — controlling costs, in part through prevailing wage reform, and reprioritizing the dollars we already spend. Too many tax dollars have been diverted from essential core infrastructure projects like bridges into non-essential boondoggles and massively inefficient urban transit money pits. To keep fixing our bridges and improving our roads, we need to focus on responsibly reallocating the taxpayer dollars we already collect. We need to focus on efficiency and managing our costs. And we need to keep our transportation spending focused on real infrastructure needs, not "nice to have" bells and whistles. Reigning in spending when money is tight is always a better answer than raising taxes, but it also requires much more political will.
"There was one positive element in this amendment — the bipartisan effort to take the steps necessary to tackle the artificially bloated construction labor costs imposed on taxpayers by Pennsylvania’s archaic prevailing wage laws. Now it is time for us to move forward, take the good in this amendment, build on it and go back to the drawing board with a plan that controls costs and doesn’t crush taxpayers with a massive tax hike at pump."
Representative Stephen Bloom
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Fosnot
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