By Tony RomeoREAD MORE: 2 Police Officers Shot During Fourth Of July Festivities On Ben Franklin Parkway: Police
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After months of wrangling that virtually consumed the state capitol, a bill that will provide billions more dollars to roads, bridges and mass transit in Pennsylvania is now on its way to Governor Corbett’s desk.
As the House voted to give final legislative approval to the transportation funding bill Thursday night, Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe continued to rail against not only the increase in wholesale gasoline taxes that will pay for the funding, but wide-ranging increases in fees as well. For example, the state fee to register passenger cars will go up by a few dollars over the next several years. But Metcalfe says there’s more.
“Counties will now have, under this legislation, the abilities to assess a $5 vehicle registration fee for any vehicle that’s registered to an address in that county,” Metcalfe said.
Motorists will have the option to register vehicles every two years, while registration stickers will be eliminated. Fines for some moving violations will increase and the bill provides for a 70 mile an hour speed limit on some highways.READ MORE: With Hints Of Yellow In Sea Of Red, White And Blue, Montgomery County Town Honors Ukrainian Refugees
For Governor Corbett – whose poll numbers are abysmal and whose legislative agenda seemed dead in the water — it was a sweet victory, and he took a victory lap after the transportation bill cleared its final hurdle last night.
“It had many supporters and yes, it had many opponents,” Corbett said. “But I think when we see the dust settles on this bill in four, five, six years from now, the economic growth and public safety will be viewed and [we’ll] wonder why we fought this one so hard.”
But during debate in the legislature, Corbett – who pledged not to raise taxes when he ran for governor – took a beating from opponents of the bill who said he’s doing just that. The transportation funding will be paid for by shifting the current 12-cents-a-gallon tax on retail gasoline to the wholesale side, while increasing the wholesale gas tax another 28-cents-a-gallon over the next few years.
“Will they pass some of that along? Yes. There is nobody in this room, there is nobody in this building, and there is nobody in this state [who] can say how much is going to go the pump, because it is part of an overall cost of doing business.”
When fully implemented over the next few years, it will raise more than $2 billion extra dollars for transportation.MORE NEWS: 2 People In Custody After Apparent Road Rage Shooting In Old City, Police Say