One of Governor Ed Rendell’s top legislative point men in the upcoming transportation funding debate is throwing cold water on the governor’s preferred plan for new revenue.
Rendell wants to impose a tax on big oil companies’ profits, and include language barring the energy giants from compensating for the new levy by raising prices in Pennsylvania.
But House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Markosek, an Allegheny County Democrat, calls it a populist notion.
"And in a perfect world it would be nice to be able to dip into those profits."
But Markosek says energy companies would challenge the excess profits tax in court.....
"For no other reason, I think the oil companies would take all that to court because they don’t want to see other states doing that, either. I think that would be a long, drawn-out battle. We’d end up with maybe nothing for awhile, and maybe nothing forever."
Markosek also doubts whether the proposal would garner enough support to pass the lower chamber. He says no single revenue source will fill Pennsylvania’s nearly 500 million dollar transportation funding gap.
Other ideas include a gas tax increase, raising vehicle and license registration fees, and leasing Pennsylvania roadways.