June 6, 2013:
With a 45-5 vote, the Pennsylvania Senate approved legislation that would increase gas taxes and a host of other fees on Pennsylvania drivers. Should SB 1 become law anyone filling up the tank in Pennsylvania will be paying over 75 cents/gallon in state and federal taxes.
It is beneficial to note that the legislation does nothing to address the cost side of the equation. Pennsylvania currently spends more per mile than 38 other states when it comes to road maintenance costs. Instead of taking advantage of public/private partnerships to reduce costs or eliminating prevailing wage requirements, this legislation maintains the status quo.
Furthermore, calling this a "transportation bill" is something of a misnomer. Instead, it has become a Christmas tree with all manner of items attached to it. Nothing can better exemplify that than fact that the short-title for the bill is over six-hundred words long. Rather than focusing on the commonwealth’s roads and bridges, this legislation also creates a new fund that would issue grants for projects including bike and walking paths.
In addition, the legislation would divert $4 million dollars annually to subsidize AMTRAK Service from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, which according to testimony from an AMTRAK official "is not as efficient or as useful as it might be. … One daily round trip is typically not going to be relevant to the business traveler." On a related note, the legislation would also subsidize mass transit. The higher gasoline taxes and fees that drivers will pay under SB 1 will result in an additional $182 million in 2013-2014 for mass transit. Taxpayers forced generosity will allow mass transit to keep fares artificially low while not addressing their exorbitant expenses. For example, some bus drivers in Pittsburgh earn over $100,000 per year.
We would urge you to contact your Representative today. Tell them that taxpayers cannot afford the Senate’s transportation plan. Please forward this email to a friend and encourage them to do the same.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania | P.O. Box 6726 | Harrisburg | PA | 17112