PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 7

February 14, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Let’s rally around that one unifying issue: Infrastructure

After a divisive election season, it is heartening that one issue is creating a point of unity among many political quarters: investing in the nation’s infrastructure. In Pennsylvania, the need is to focus on long overdue megaprojects such as the reconstruction and widening of I-95 to the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway and the reconstruction of US 422 in Berks County.

Gov. Wolf’s state trooper fee would free gas taxes for road and bridge repairs

The $25 fee is a starting point for covering state police costs instead of relying on the PennDOT highway fund, Wolf said Wednesday at a stop in Allentown.

Taxpayers in municipalities with police departments shouldn’t pay for police protection for others

Taxpayers statewide fund the state police. If you live in Ephrata Borough, for example, your local taxes are supporting your borough police department. But your tax dollars are also paying for state police coverage for municipalities that have no local police department. So a place like Abbott Township, way up in Potter County, which has no local police force, is paying nothing extra for the state police coverage.

You don’t need a panel of actuaries to figure out that simply isn’t fair.

Police protection costs vary widely across Pennsylvania

About 80 percent of Pennsylvanians pay for local police and state police. The other 20 percent only pay for state police, according to a Tribune-Review analysis.

Funded through taxes, fees and other sources, costs for Pennsylvania State Police protection come to about $97 per year for every resident.

York County would pay $1.5M for troopers under Wolf plan

A sizable portion of southern York County depends on Pennsylvania State Police to respond to 911 calls. That service, used full-time by 21 boroughs and townships, has been free … more or less. The state police are funded by taxpayer money.

But Gov. Tom Wolf, in his 2017-18 budget preview released on Tuesday, has proposed a $25 per-person fee for municipalities that rely on the state troopers. In York County alone, such fees would amount to about $1.5 million.


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