State Highway Revenues Decrease Despite Increased Tolls

PHILADELPHIA | – As the economy continues its pinch, Pennsylvania is getting less revenue than expected from Turnpike toll increases.

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike went up 25 percent on Jan. 24. But January revenue was up less than 11 percent from the previous January.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Tuesday that commercial traffic that accounts for nearly half the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s toll revenue was down 14 percent, and overall turnpike traffic was down nearly 6 percent.

Federal figures indicate vehicle miles statewide in Pennsylvania dropped 4.5 percent in January. That continues a downward trend that began nationally in December 2007, even though gasoline prices have eased. The state also reports diminished liquid fuels tax collections.

Once again proof that increase taxation causes a decrease in revenue, and yet those who support an ever increasing tax burden seem to think that the facts do not matter. They insist that despite reduced revenues and decreased activity, increasing taxes is a good thing for the economy. If that were true then why is the revenue decreasing after the rather large increase to the road tax (toll)? I would think that if the turnpike and the state actually wanted to encourage the use of the roadway they would actually reduce the cost to those who use it. What say you?

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