Funding solution optimism grows

November 19, 2012

PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said on Friday that he believes Pennsylvania will move forward with a major transportation funding initiative early next year.

Speaking to a large crowd at the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors’ Fall Conference, Schoch said he is more optimistic than he has been since accepting his appointment as PennDOT secretary that the General Assembly and administration are prepared to move the issue forward.

He noted that, in the last two years, PennDOT had made significant progress in modernization efforts that have improved the agency’s efficiency, and have positioned it to assure lawmakers that any increased revenue would be spent wisely.

Schoch said the cornerstone of the initiative will likely be the uncapping of the Oil Company Franchise Tax.  He also said the administration is interested in pursuing tolling opportunities that were incorporated in the two-year federal funding measure known as MAP-21.

Both of those funding mechanisms are in keeping with Governor Corbett’s desire to focus on user-fee solutions, he said, adding that there is concern with other measures, such as license and registration fees, which affect all motorists regardless of how much they use the highway system.

Schoch’s advice to the group was to continue to participate in outreach efforts with the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition in order to let elected officials know of the strong support that exists for addressing the funding problem.


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