Thursday night, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a comprehensive transportation bill to fund roads, bridges, mass transit, rail freight, ports, and airports over the next five years. Governor Tom Corbett is expected to sign the legislation into law today.

The legislation contains a funding plan that will invest roughly $7.4 billion over the next five years and generate $2.3-$2.4 billion in additional annual revenue once implementation is completed in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

With Pennsylvania’s infrastructure aging, this funding provides a much-needed boost and ensures the state will remain economically competitive with neighboring states. The multibillion-dollar investment will eliminate the need for service cuts, and will generate more than 62,000 jobs, creating around 50,000 new jobs and preserving around 12,000 current jobs. 

Major components of the bill include $1.3 billion annually for state roads and bridges by the fifth year of the plan, up to $495 million for public transportation, and $237 million for local roads and bridges. Local governments will receive:

  • $220 million a year in liquid fuels allocations
  • Up to $40 million in grant money to coordinate traffic signals and alleviate congestion
  • Up to $8 million for  rural road paving
  • Savings on bridge financing

The bill contains a potentially powerful local governmental financing tool as well. The bill was amended prior to final passage to enable counties to impose a new $5 annual vehicle registration fee.  The new fee could serve as a critical funding source for local and regional  transportation projects by leveraging the revenue to finance those projects.

Individuals also will benefit as the state retail gas tax paid at the pump is eliminated beginning January 1, 2014. Additional benefits include funding for alternative energy, public transportation, and bicycle/pedestrian-related programs, with efficiencies in transportation leading to an expected $1 billion savings within five years.

About the P3/Infrastructure Group

Ballard Spahr's P3/Infrastructure practice brings together attorneys from a wide range of legal disciplines, including public finance, government relations, mergers and acquisitions, environmental law, securities law, labor and employee benefits, energy, transportation, tax, and real estate.  Contact any member of the team for more information. 

Copyright © 2013 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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