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Auditor: Payments take heavy toll on Pennsylvania Turnpike

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 18 2013 11:23:31 AM CDT

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

Any statewide transportation funding plan should phase out the massive contributions that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is currently required to make, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

In a report presented to the House Transportation Committee, Eugene DePasquale said the turnpike's annual $450 million transfers to PennDOT are forcing annual increases in tolls and hurting the turnpike's financial condition as it borrows money to make the mandatory payments.

The turnpike had transferred $3.9 billion financed by $4.3 billion in debt as of May 31, DePasquale said.

The Legislature is considering a major expansion of transportation project spending.

The turnpike payments are a holdover from an unsuccessful 2007 plan to toll Interstate 80 and place that highway under the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.