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Harper Has Doubts About Turnpike Debt

Turnpike-LogoSome state lawmakers are concerned about the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s financial condition.

Commission CEO Roger Nutt said at a legislative hearing last week that annual toll hikes will pay down its high debt, but House Transportation Committee member Kate Harper of Montgomery County has her doubts.

“Turnpike officials believe that it’s sort of like a Home Equity Loan, that as long as you can make the payments it’s not a problem how much debt that you have.  I hope they’re right, but I’m not sure that they are.”

She says the toll road is not the only thing dragging the commission deeper into debt.

“We have a transportation funding crisis in Pennsylvania, and right now the turnpike is shouldering part of the burden by paying for SEPTA, about $250 million a year, and also putting another $200 million toward roads and bridges around the state.  If you think of the turnpike as part of Pennsylvania’s transportation system it makes sense.”

Harper says a law passed a few years ago required the turnpike to share toll receipts with other roads and bridge and mass transit, but it also included charging tolls on Interstate 80, and when the federal government turned that down the turnpike ended up carrying heavy debt.  She says lawmakers need to recognize the crisis and deal with it.
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your shopping for Friday ... and Small Business Saturday ... be sure to include some of the locally owned and operated businesses in our area because, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org), locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do! "Shop Locally for the Holidays!"
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 Planning to shop on Friday? How about Small Business Saturday? As you make your plans be sure to include some of the locally owned and operated businesses in the area! According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org) there are "10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses." #5: Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship fuels America's economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class. Shop Locally for the Holidays!
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Public Benefits and Costs. Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Environmental Sustainability. Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution. "Shop Locally for the Holidays!"
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Competition. A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Product Diversity. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices. "Shop Locally for the Holidays."
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies

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