Auditor: Payments take heavy toll on Pa. turnpike

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state auditor general says any statewide transportation funding plan should phase out the massive contributions that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is currently required to make.

In a report presented to the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday, Eugene DePasquale says 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.

DePasquale says the turnpike had transferred $3.9 billion financed by $4.3 billion in debt as of May 31.

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.

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