Rendell endorses gas tax

Governor Rendell wants lawmakers to find new revenue sources for transportation infrastructure. Among the measures he’d accept: a gas tax, boosted registration fees, and a tax on oil companies.

Pennsylvania faces a nearly $500 million annual hole, due to the Feds’ rejection of I-80 tolling.

One of the options Rendell’s calling for is a 3.25 cent gas tax increase, which the governor says drivers “probably would not even notice.” Senate Republican spokesman Erik Arneson says Rendell is “flat-out wrong.”

Rendell says the gas tax isn’t his preferred funding source, but that he’d sign the bill if it reaches his desk. His top priority is an excise profits tax on oil companies.

The governor is calling for a special session on transportation to re-convene August 23rd. But Arneson says the Senate isn’t returning to Harrisburg until mid-September. The Senate Transportation Committee takes a look at the issue on Wednesday, and Rendell says he’ll testify before the panel. As a bit of extra – cough – incentive to lawmakers, the governor is promising to kindly inform the panel’s senators which of their district transportation projects will lose money, if they don’t come up with a new revenue stream.

Rendell with his Transportation Super Team

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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