Despite indications that a push for major transportation funding is not going anywhere in the short term (see related story), the Rendell administration is trying to whip up support for it anyway.
KYW’s John Ostapkovich reports that the governor (in file photo above) and the Penndot secretary, thwarted by Washington in a bid to put tolls on Interstate 80, now propose two alternatives that they say could raise about $1 billion.
One is an eight-percent tax on the gross profits of oil companies doing business in Pennsylvania. The other is increased fees for drivers and vehicles in the state. The biggest bump would be for car registrations — from $36 a year now, to $49.
The Rendell administration cites a poll showing high public awareness of the importance of transport infrastructure and even a grudging willingness to pay higher fees. But even before these initiatives went public, a spokesman for the state senate majority leader cast doubt on whether this issue would fly this fall, especially with an election and a new governor on the way.