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Tax credits proposed to offset higher turnpike tolls

What if commonwealth residents and Pennsylvania-based companies could get a break on rising Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls, which are set to go up again in January?

Hoping to reduce the annual cost burden on commuters and commerce, state Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) has renewed his call for House Bill 1298, a proposal he introduced last year that would offer a state income tax credit for 50 percent of tolls paid, or a $500 cap per filer.

Under Santarsiero’s proposal, which he hopes will move this fall in the House, individuals, corporations and small businesses with tax liabilities would be eligible for the credit. Eligible tolls would include those on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and for bridges across the Delaware River.

“This is a reasonable tax credit that local residents could use to purchase more products locally and our businesses could use to expand their business locally,” he said.

Rates for E-ZPass and cash customers will increase 6 percent effective Jan. 8, under a move approved last week by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Revenues from the increase will fund a 10-year plan to invest more than $5.77 billion in rebuilding and widening the system over the coming decade, as well as providing funding to the state to help support public transportation.

Pennsylvania is No. 4 among states for toll-road miles and toll bridges with 533 and 15, respectively.  

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