$2-$2.5 Billion in Funding for Transportation Being Negotiated with Budget

Sharon Ward |

Dueling transportation funding plans from the Pennsylvania Senate and House are still being hashed out in the Capitol this weekend along with the budget.

On Thursday, the House Transportation Committee amended the Senate’s transportation funding reform bill, Senate Bill 1, which now moves to the House floor for consideration. The House and Senate plans vary in how the revenue is raised and how it is distributed. The Senate plan would provide about $2.5 billion in additional funds for roads, bridges and mass transit, while the House version is closer to $2 billion.

Both rely on the gradual “uncapping” of the oil franchise tax, which is calculated under current law based on the assumption that fuel costs $1.25 per gallon. Both plans eventually make this tax fluctuate with the real wholesale price of gas or diesel.

The plans differ regarding other fee changes used to generate additional revenue. The House plan uses an additional 6% fee on leased vehicles, an additional $2-per-day charge on car rentals, and a new $2-per-tire fee to raise additional revenue. The Senate version uses increases in license and registration fees and a new $100 surcharge on traffic violations.

Also varying between the House and Senate plans are how much funding for mass transit is increased. The Senate version provides more, the current House version has less of an increase.

The House plan could be changed further when it comes up for debate on the floor today before being sent back to the Senate, so all these details could change quite a bit over the next 24 hours.