Chester County House Republican Members Denounce Flawed Transportation Funding Plan
6/27/2007

Legislation cedes control of SEPTA to Philadelphia and calls for local tax increases

With Updated Information

Chester County’s Republican House members fought to stop a flawed legislative plan to revamp the structure and local funding layout of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).

The plan, which was sponsored by Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon), places the burden on counties and municipalities to impose a local sales tax, earned income tax, vehicle rental tax and two separate hotel room taxes in order to generate funding for transit needs.

In addition to burdening Chester County residents with higher taxes, the Democratic plan made fundamental changes to the structure of SEPTA’s Board of Directors, which would allow the City of Philadelphia to dominate and override suburban decisions on fares, routes and service.

Further, the plan would allow the newly Philadelphia-dominated SEPTA board to suspend all SEPTA projects in Chester County if the board felt that Chester County was not contributing its fair share. The taxpayers of Chester County would be required to increase their contribution by more than 50 percent even though Chester County residents receive the least amount of services of any of the five southeastern counties.

Members of the Chester County Republican House Delegation – Rep. Art Hershey (R-13), Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-26), Rep. Chris Ross (R-158), Rep. Curt Schroder (R-155), Duane Milne (R-167), Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-160) and Tom Killion (R-168) all voted against the Democrat proposal.

House Republicans had advanced their own plan sponsored by Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Lehigh) that would initially provide $250 million for transit, growing to nearly $400 million annually over the next three years. Funding for roads and bridges under the plan would be $450 million annually.

The McCall amendment passed the House on a nearly party-line vote Monday evening. The entire transportation bill with McCall’s amendment was approved by the full House and sent to state Senate Wednesday morning.

Chester County Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: House Republican Public Relations
(717) 787-3993
www.pahousegop.com