So PennDOT now wants to add tolls on nine of our interstate bridges. And just why? As they explain: Because of a funding gap caused by increased fuel efficiency, increased use of electric vehicles and reduced travel during the pandemic.
While all this is true to a certain extent, the primary reason behind PennDOT’s financial problems is the annual transfers of millions of dollars of our current gasoline tax to the Pennsylvania State Police — $500 million in 2012-2013, $802.9 million in 2016-2017, $789.5 million in 2017-2018, and $738 million in 2018-2019.
It was this money that was originally generated to help PennDOT pay for this state’s bridge and road repairs. But our wonderful Harrisburg politicians thought it a better idea to send it to our PSP to help them pay for their exorbitant, defined-benefit pensions.
Don’t criticize PennDOT. The real problem is our state police — and their Cadillac pension plan — and Harrisburg politicians who still feel, for whatever reason, this state can afford this luxury.
As I have said in previous letters to this newspaper, it is time to stop just kicking the can down the road, Harrisburg, and admit we can’t. Your days of robbing Peter to pay Paul are over. It’s time now to solve the real problem here rather than just hide the symptoms with yet another new tax or bridge tolls.