Gas tax for transit forbidden
Joseph P. Kirk, Construction Legislative Council of Western Pennsylvania chairman, Mon Valley Progress Council executive director and writer of the letter “Fund transportation needs” (May 31 and TribLIVE.com), is to be commended for his efforts to get additional funding for mass transit. He strongly implies that mass-transit funding should come from the state gasoline tax and related driver and user fees.
I remind Mr. Kirk and all state legislators that the Pennsylvania Constitution, Article VIII, Section 11, specifically and emphatically prohibits the use of gasoline taxes and all related fees for any other purpose than construction and maintenance of roads and bridges (except certain loans). Mass transit is not included. Our roads and bridges need all of the revenue that gas taxes and user fees can provide.
The state Constitution is very clear on this issue, and I do not understand how promoters and legislators simply ignore the law when talking about funding our mass-transit systems.
I am a firm believer in mass transit, but we need to plug up the money-grabbing holes in the system and find a legal source of revenue.