I-80, You’ve Screwed Us More Than You Know

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 6 | Posted Apr. 9, 2010

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You know that whole no tolls on I-80 thing? Well, turns out the state government – surprise! – didn’t plan on the federal government turning them down. And now we’ve got a problem.

The Inquirer reports that, “now the state has to find another way to replace the $472 million in toll revenue targeted for road and bridge repair and aid to public transit… The House approved a $29 billion state budget with no new taxes last month and sent the legislation to the Senate with a gap of between $750 million and $1 billion."

“That budget did not contain funding for transportation improvements that were to be underwritten by I-80 tolls.”

In other words: Read our lips, new taxes – and not the good kind that go toward projects like the Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force. Necessary hassles, like fixing up infrastructure and filling in potholes; repairing train stations.

All the magical money that everyone, SEPTA included, planned on spending from our EZ Pass accounts is now coming from our taxes. They need $532 million per year for road and bridge repair, and they need $414 million per year for public-transit agencies from border to rocky border. The tolls would have helped both these causes. Now, not.

Worst of all, this is Rendell’s last year in office and would have been the first time – ever! – he approved the state budget on time (every other year he’s been so busy, what with talking Eagles football on Comcast SportsNet or shilling for Hillary Clinton).

He was so close.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 6 of 6
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1. StatesRights said... on Apr 9, 2010 at 08:08AM

“you say the federal government turned the plan down. what business is it of politicians in washington to tell our PA state legislature it can't make a road in OUR STATE a toll road?”

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2. Anonymous said... on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:12AM

“Thats what happens when you take federal money to build a road.”

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3. Steelhead said... on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:16AM

“It is INTERSTATE 80. It was built largely with our Federal tax money. No state can change a federally suported highway to a toll road without US Govt approval.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 9, 2010 at 09:26PM

“I80 didn't screw us the politicians in Harrisburg screwed us. Once again they are spending money they don't have and now we are on the hook.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Apr 10, 2010 at 02:12PM

“Rendell and the Dems probably knew that I-80 tolling wasn't going to happen, but didn't have the balls to say it publicly.

By the way, isn't it ironic that the Chairman of SEPTA's Board, Pasquale T. Deon, Sr. of Bucks County (already one strike against him in my book), is also a Turnpike Commissioner? HELLO? CAN YOU SAY CONFLICT OF INTEREST?”

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6. scurvy wafers said... on Apr 10, 2010 at 05:23PM

“ALL TOLLS ARE TAXES, THO NONCOMPULSORY, IT IS THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT PAYS, AND THE POLITICIANS WHO DECIDE WHERE THE MONEY GOES...................”

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