Wednesday, February 02, 2005


In yesterday's Philadelphia Daily News (a fully-paid subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee), State Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon) laid out his proposal that would benefit both transit and highways, a condition to any possible funding solution for SEPTA:

My proposal will:
  • Increase the realty-transfer tax by a half percent [like Fumo's Senate bill], which will give mass transit $200 million in dedicated funding annually, probably more.
  • Adjust the formula so that the [smaller]... mass-transit systems get a larger share of state funding. I'm confident that both SEPTA and the Port Authority in Allegheny County will agree to that.
  • Make the "floor" of the oil company franchise tax, which increased automatically as of Jan. 1 permanent, which means that an additional $280 million would continue to flow into roads and bridges without the need to raise the gas tax.
  • Increase some driver and vehicle fees: passenger-car registrations would rise from $36 to $43, SUVs to $50. Restoring a suspended license would cost $30 instead of $25. That would raise $100 million that would go solely to local governments to repair local bridges and roads. Daily News
According to McCall, his plan "is getting some legs. There's a lot of bipartisan support out there. This is a fluid process. By the time every member gets a chance to look at it, it will have some changes. It's not etched in stone. The important thing is to get this done."

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