Governor Tom Corbett's Transportation Funding Plan has been released. The plan follows recommendations made by the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. One detail of the plan has caught the attention of Cumberland County Commissioner Jim Hertzler.
"One piece of the Governor's plan I have a concern about and it is a pretty big concern," said Commissioner Hertzler. "I am hoping that before that gets too far that we call attention to that provision and that it be reconsidered."
Corbett's transportation funding plan proposes increasing the local match for mass transit from 15% to 20%.
Right now Cumberland County contributes 10% to mass transit which equals $319,324 a year. Hertzler says the county is still working its way up to the required 15% and now the Governor want to increase it even more.
Hertzler estimates Cumberland County may have to come up with more than half a million dollars to meet the Governor's proposal and it could be even more if the county does not agree to implement a regional transit consolidation plan.
"Essentially we are looking at an increase in property taxes, we do not have any other choice. We need some options. The Governor's plan is kind of like an unfunded mandate, if it goes through we need to have better options," said Hertzler.
Representative Stephen Bloom says the Governor's proposal is just a starting off point.
"I commend Commissioner Hertzler for bringing that to our attention. It is certainly something we are going to look at. What we have seen so far is just an outline. Obviously we are going to make sure there are not any unduly burdensome provisions that would hurt our counties," said Rep. Bloom.
Pennsylvania spends more than $6 billion a year on transportation, and the Governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission estimates that will increase by 2.5 billion.
"We do not want to put ourselves in a position of simply pushing obligations down, putting unfunded mandates on our local government units. I want to make sure we are providing relief in this budget not adding new unfunded mandates," said Bloom. "I can almost guarantee you what is on the table today is not what we are going to be voting on June 30."