Gov. Corbett shifts gears on timing of transportation plan

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Gov. Tom Corbett will wait until his Feb. 5 budget speech to unveil his proposals for increasing funding for roads, bridges and public transit in Pennsylvania.

Spokeswoman Kelli Roberts confirmed reports that Mr. Corbett will wait until the budget speech rather than announce his plans today.

The governor is expected, among other things, to seek removal of the cap on the wholesale gasoline tax, called the Oil Company Franchise Tax. The tax, which is paid by gasoline suppliers, currently applies to only the first $1.25 per gallon of the wholesale price.

Removing the cap would generate an estimated $1.85 billion in new revenue without changing the 153.5-mill tax rate. Based on current pricing, it would increase the tax by 28.5 cents per gallon, some of which might be passed on in the form of higher pump prices.

Lifting the cap was a key recommendation of the governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, which he empaneled to address an estimated $3.5 billion annual shortfall in transportation spending in Pennsylvania.

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Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1868.


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