By Marvin Ostrega

Recently reported in the Bucks County Courier Times was that motorists who get licences, register their vehicles, and fill their tanks with gas would find it more expensive if a special commission’s report is made into law.

Basically Pennsylvania’s roads, highways, bridges and mass transit systems need money. The roads need money for up keeping. Highway’s need to be paved or rebuilt and bridges need to be shored up and mass transit such as (septa) South-eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority need money to continue running without raising fares.

The current Governor Ed Randell rerouted some money from Pennsylvania’s federal highway fund to keep transit agencies going until 2007. Well Now 2007 is coming and tough decisions have to be made. A commison was set up to figure out what to do.

A list of some of their recommendations are:

1. Raise, for highways and bridges, owned by municipalites and counties, 65 million dollars by increasing an oil franchise tax by 1 cent.

2. Raise, for state owned highways and bridges, the oil franchise tax on wholesale gasoline prices 11.5 cents and increase vehicle registration and licence fees. This would raise 900 million.

3. Raise, for mass transit, 760 million for mass transit 75 percent from the state and 25 percent from counties and municipalities.

4. The current mass transit revenue of 589 million would be replaced with revenue already existing from personal income tax or state sales tax.

These were the biggy proposals.

1 and 2 I agree with. If you own a vehicle and use Pennsylvania roads, highways or bridges you should pay your fair share of the burden and replace the wear and tear you caused to these infrastructure.

I know taxes are bad and we all want to keep most of the money we make in our pockets but these roads are neccessary to get you and I to work and get our money into our pocket! So it is only fair that we Pennsylvainans help each other out. And people who use these roads, who don’t live here, who travel through, should pay if they fill up here too.

3. I agree that the state and municipalities should find the money to pay for septa and other mass transit. The whole point is to keep fares down, to encourage people to use mass transit, so that we keep road, and highway traffic down. Keeping these roads more open for emergency traffic and freight traffic keeps our people healthy, safe and the economy moving. This helps in the creation of jobs to put money once again in our pockets. Also, a side benefit is less cars on the road, means less wear and tear on these roads, and more money spent for newer road projects that once again help keep our economy moving.

4. I believe a state sales tax makes more sense then a personal income tax. With a personal income tax only Pennsylvanians are targeted to pay for a mass transit system. What about all the poeple who come from out of state to visit tourist attractions and major cities and use mass transit systems? Shouldn’t they be targeted too? I believe they should and I believe more money would be raised with a sales tax then a personal income tax because the more you spend the more you help public transportation.

In closing I feel taxes are hard on the working person. But, its like giving to a special charity. A lot of people benefit from roads, highways, bridges, and mass transportation. Just think where you would be if they were not around.

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