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Pennsylvania DOT Looking To Sales Tax To Fund Infrastructure


The state of Pennsylvania has a growing problem. According to a Luzerne County, PA local paper, “[o]f the 2,068 bridges in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Pike, Wayne, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, 429 are structurally deficient….” Since a proposed gasoline tax is unpopular, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) has been looking for other ways to fund the improvements needed.

They invited an official from Georgia to come share his story of their transportation infrastructure improvement funding. “Douglas J. Callaway, executive director of the Georgia Transportation Alliance, discussed the sales tax that is proposed in Georgia….” He indicated that if the vote on July 31 in Georgia passes a proposed 1 percent sales tax for improvements, “…it would raise $19 billion over 10 years” and create “…more jobs, safer roads and local control.”

Pennsylvania’s DOT “…needs amount to about $3.5 billion per year and the region’s annual funding shortfall is about $125 million per year,” according to George Roberts, executive of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s fourth district. He went on to state that “[r]egional bridge and pavement needs are estimated at $290 million annually…[and] current funding level with federal and state dollars is $165 million, a decrease from 2003, when its funding was $169 million.”

Attendees indicated that funding transportation infrastructure improvements are critical to attracting industry and creating jobs. Roberts concurred, stating, “The economic vitality of this region and Pennsylvania depends on a safe and efficient transportation system.”

Concern was voiced that transportation issues are not being addressed properly.

In California, a local sales tax increase has been successfully employed to improve their transportation issues...Read more....

And Michigan opted for using the motor fuel for their repairs...Read more...

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”