Corbett says transportation funding plan ready
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NEW YORK -- Gov. Tom Corbett says his administration has a transportation funding plan ready to go, and he indicated to business leaders this morning that action will be coming early next year.
The governor spoke about finding money for repairing roads and bridges during a closed-door function here amid this weekend's annual Pennsylvania Society events.
While remaining vague on the details of his proposal, Mr. Corbett said a state law passed last year allowing for public-private partnerships to pay for infrastructure projects and the recent federal highway bill have given Pennsylvania some helpful tools.
"There are a lot of options to us," Mr. Corbett told reporters after his private remarks. "I want to talk with the members of the [state] House and Senate. I want to know which ones they think that they can get through."
He said he is aiming to get a state funding plan approved before the state budget deadline at the end of June.
A report from the transportation funding commission convened by Mr. Corbett calls for raising $2.7 billion annually through lifting a cap on a tax charged to fuel distributors and by raising license and registration fees.
Mr. Corbett declined this morning to say whether his plan will include hiking fees on drivers, but he has suggested to reporters that he may be amenable to lifting the cap on the oil franchise tax.
Local business and transportation leaders applauded his remarks, describing them as a significant step toward beginning repairs to the state's aging infrastructure.
"We appreciate the governor's commitment to a comprehensive, multi-modal statewide transportation funding solution and we look forward to working with him, state legislators and Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald to achieve a reliable, sustainable funding source that grows with inflation," Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland said in a statement.
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, released a statement calling Mr. Corbett's comments a sign of his "clear commitment" to a funding plan.
"He recognizes the vital importance of our transportation infrastructure and transit systems in moving goods to market and people to work, school, and other daily activities," Mr. Yablonsky said.
First Published December 8, 2012 2:20 pm