State GOP, Dem committee leaders favor increase in motorist fees
HARRISBURG — The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Transportation Committee said Tuesday they favor adding $1 billion to the $1.8 billion road, bridge and transit plan the Corbett administration proposed.
Chairman John Rafferty, a GOP senator from suburban Philadelphia, said raising registration and drivers' license fees is “under very serious consideration.”
There also is a plan to raise motor vehicle fines on infractions from speeding to running stop signs, Rafferty said.
But those measures combined would not produce $1 billion, Rafferty acknowledged, and lawmakers are considering other measures. He declined to disclose what else is under review.
Increases in registration and license fees would restore some revenue lost through inflation, since the fees haven't increased since 1997, Rafferty said.
Asked if he supports adding $1 billion more, Sen. John Wozniak, of Cambria County, ranking Democrat on the transportation committee, said, ”I do.”
But Wozniak said it will be “tough enough” for lawmakers to pass the $1.8 billion plan Gov. Tom Corbett proposed. That plan relies on lifting the cap on the wholesale tax on gas sold to gas stations.
Corbett's Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch said the administration is willing to work “collectively” with the Legislature on the right mix of revenues. However, he said he's already read comments that the governor's plan is “too low or too high.”
Schoch said it's virtually impossible to tell how lifting the wholesale tax cap will affect prices at the pump because prices fluctuate depending on the market. “We don't know and probably never will know the effect on retail prices,” he said.
The Pennsylvania Highway Information Association said lifting the cap might mean about a nickel-per-gallon increase each year over five years if all the increase passes on to consumers.
But Corbett also proposed cuts in the state liquid fuels tax that amounts to 1 cent per gallon less in each of the next two years.
Sen. Rich Alloway, R-Franklin County, said of the governor's overall package, “If we are going to take a bite of the apple, I'd like to take as big of a bite of the apple as we possibly can.”
“I am having a difficult time getting excited about this,” said Sen. Don White, R-Indiana County. It amounts to kicking the can down the road, said White.
Rafferty said legislation proposing adding more revenue to the governor's plan will be introduced in mid-March to early April after budget hearings.
Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 and email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sparks fly at 2nd Corbett, Wolf campaign debate
- Cop killer Abu-Jamal to speak by recording to Vermont school ceremonies
- Police find pipe bombs in woods during manhunt for suspect in trooper ambush
- AP classes put college-bound students on fast track
- Cop killer to address college commencement
- Bishop mum on accused priest
- Enrollment falls again at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities
- 2 men held in fatal Mercer County mobile home heist
- Pa. not ready to abandon lethal injections
- Judge OKs alternative for 2 turnpike corruption case defendants
- Manhunt for trooper slaying suspect won’t keep deer hunters from woods in bow season