Corbett cash infusion for transportation is not enough for some
When is $5.4 billion not enough?
Apparently when it involves Gov. Tom Corbett’s transportation plan for the state of Pennsylvania.
The governor’s budget proposal includes raising gasoline tax revenues by increasing the tax wholesalers pay on a gallon of gasoline, currently $1.25 a gallon.
The increased revenues would allow the state to spend $300 million more on state roads in 2013-14, $40 million more on public transportation, $80 million on Turnpike expansion and $60 million on a multi-modal fund.
Over five years, the state roads and bridges would be getting $1.2 billion in attention, public transportation $250 million and local roads and bridges $200 million.
That’s a lot of money, but Senate Transportation Chairman John Rafferty, a Montgomery County Republican, said the plan doesn’t go far enough.
He plans to push for more money for transportation.
House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, an Allegheny County Democrat, said Corbett’s plan “falls far short of a solution.”
Our view is a little closer to that of Bob Latham, executive director of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, which represents road construction and engineering companies. He welcomed the governor’s initiative.
Everyone knows Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges need an infusion of revenue to try to tackle an evergrowing problem.
But there is a limit to what those in the gas industry can afford to pay for the product they provide.
At a certain point, that payment will be reflected at the pump.
And consumers already are paying prices threatening $4 a gallon for unleaded gasoline.
We await some reasoned improvement on Corbett’s transportation plan, though it’s a good start.
And we hope our region will not suffer from its traditional rural location disease when the spending priorities for the money are being discussed in Harrisburg.