ShareThis Page

Senate Republican leader proposes higher motorists? fees

| Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011

HARRISBURG — A Republican state Senate leader today announced he will file legislation to raise motorists' fees to pay for repairs to the state's structurally deficient bridges and to maintain and improve 80,000 miles of highways.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman, R-Centre County, said his bill will be based on GOP Gov. Tom Corbett's transportation funding advisory report the panel approved in August. Corbett hasn't said which portions of the report he supports.

Corman said he did not have the governor's blessing on moving forward with the report, which would lift the state's wholesale cap on gasoline taxes and raise registration and license fees. Corman said he was trying to "get the conversation out in the forefront."

His capitol news conference comes a day after a Washington group seeking more transportation revenue said Pittsburgh has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges among the largest 102 metropolitan areas.

To avoid "sticker shock," the higher fees would be phased in over five years, Corman said. It would cost the average motorist 70 cents more per week initially and increase to $2.50 per week in five years, he said.

"To my knowledge, no one has disputed we have a problem," said Corman.

"The only reason not to do it is political fear and that is unacceptable," he added.

Corbett was elected in November on a pledge of not raising taxes.

The governor has said he was also looking at revenue streams not included in the report.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me