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Do Higher PennDOT Fees, Gas Tax Hikes Violate Governor’s Campaign Pledge?

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(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Gov. Tom Corbett signed Act 89, the Transportation Funding Bill, last November, it meant a hike in the gasoline tax and other PennDOT fees that are being phased in over the next couple years.

On Jan. 1, gas taxes went up and the cost of running a stop sign or red light jumped to $150 bucks.

Effective April 1, the cost of the title certificate for your car or a non-driver ID card has doubled.

And in the future, the price of renewing your driver’s license or registering your car will go up as well.

The higher fees pump $2.3 billion over the next five years into repairing the state’s roads, bridges and public transit system.

“Because we put faith in each other, we can now put shovels in the ground and rebuild our transportation system,” Corbett said when he signed the bill.

But now Corbett is running campaign ads like this: “I campaigned in 2010, and I made a promise. Less taxes, more jobs — and I’ve kept that promise,” Corbett says in his TV ad.

Not everyone agrees.

“In my opinion, Gov. Corbett didn’t keep his promise in the first place,” says Tre Poole of West End.

Despite higher gas taxes and PennDOT fees, the Corbett campaign insists the pledge was to keep overall taxes low.

Even if Corbett doesn’t believe he violated his pledge, other taxpayers do think so, while some others say it’s all for a good cause.

“You can’t predict,” says Liz Whittington of Brookline. “There might be things that come up. You might make a campaign promise, but if you have a good reason behind your decision, taxes will have to go up.”

Voters in November will decide whether the increased fees of today have any political consequence.

RELATED LINKS:
PennDOT Fees Go Up Again To Fund Roads, Bridges & Transit (4/1/14)
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