Whether you are a Democrat a Republican or an Independent, I'll bet you either used or relied on some form of transportation today. Whether you are a Union or non-Union employee currently employed or unemployed, I'll bet you paid some form of state-related tax today.
Everyone will be affected by the inaction of our state Legislators inability to pass a Transportation budget. Everyone that uses any form of transportation will also be affected if a Transportation budget is passed.
From the bus driver in Philly that works for SEPTA to the bridge workers to the stone producers to the paving (concrete and blacktop) people; to the people laying bricks for a new crosswalk being built for a new Streetscape project; to the person holding that flag protecting the highway worker as well as the travelling public, everyone that works in the Transportation business in Pennsylvania has an awful lot at risk these next few days of the current Legislative Session. It's hard to understand that not everyone supports this. Gas tax rising?
The gas tax in Pennsylvania has not increased since 1997 and then it was by only three and one half cents. One penny of gas tax generates (now) approximately sixty million dollars for Transportation uses. A few pennies collected incrementally for a few years would be extremely beneficial.
To paraphrase from a recent report prepared for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA?TDF), a sustained $2 billion + annual increase in highway and bridge construction work will boost Pennsylvania's total economic output by $6.5 billion and create and sustain an additional 50,000 new jobs throughout the state's economy. Additional benefits from this increase would be seen in Pennsylvania's manufacturing business of approximately $1.1 billion increase in output along with 4,051 new jobs and the retail sector seeing about 5,174 new jobs.
When you sit down for supper tonight and give thanks for what you have, think about this also: The refrigerator you got the glass of milk from to give your children who had a great day of school that were safely brought home by the school bus driver to enjoy the meal before you. All were delivered somehow, someway by some form of transportation. Pray for passage of this transportation, or ultimately jobs bill.
Thomas P. Abbey
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom