Higher gas tax isn't the answer
I want to commend the House of Representatives for not taking the easy path in addressing Pennsylvania's transportation crisis.
This spring, the State Senate attempted to address years of neglect of our roads and bridges by simply passing the cost of fixing them onto the taxpayers with even more new taxes.
We already pay 50.7 cents a gallon on gasoline to fund transportation (with $6.5 billion spent on roads and bridges each year), and the senate wanted to tack on an additional 28.5 cents on gasoline and 38.5 cents on diesel.
This would make it more expensive for Pennsylvanians to get to work, not to mention the increased price on the goods we buy.
We all agree there is a transportation crisis. And in a crisis, you have to take immediate action. The first thing we should do is suspend prevailing wage until this crisis is under control. That will provide 30 to 40 percent more revenue for roads and bridges.
Next, we must eliminate the corruption-plagued Turnpike Commission and roll it into PennDOT. There is no need to have two agencies for roads.
Finally, instead of selling our liquor stores, we can lease them and generate a permanent revenue stream for transportation.
It is these types of innovative, taxpayer neutral solutions that our legislators should be considering, instead of just once again socking the taxpayers.
The legislators should look to tighten government's belt before asking the taxpayers to tighten their own.
I hope the state senators who voted for this gas tax hike will reconsider when the issue comes up in the fall, and that they think about the people who pay for their own gas rather than getting it paid for by the taxpayers like they do.