Increasing Amount of Transportation Funds Going To Pennsylvania State Police

WILKES-BARRE -- When you go to fill up your car here in the Commonwealth, 50 cents of every gallon is taxed, going to the state. Our state gas tax is the highest in the country, according to the American Petroleum Institute, after lawmakers passed Act 89 in 2013.

The revenue from the gas tax and drivers' fees is used for road and bridge projects, some administrative overhead, as well as to the Pennsylvania State Police. But it turns out, more money is now increasingly going to state police. That's pulling cash away from of road projects, according to PennDOT projections.

The state police budget is taking up so much cash because the need for state police is also increasing. Part of the reason is that the law mandates state police to cover communities that have no local police.

“Over time, it's happened more and more and more and more,” said Trooper Tom Kelly.

Nearly half of all municipalities in Pennsylvania rely on state police, including several counties, like Wyoming and Susquehanna Counties.

“It affects our manpower. Instead of dedicating it to certain areas, we're spread thin, we're all over the place,” Kelly said.

There are wealthier, more populated areas too, like Lower Macungie Township near Allentown, that has never had a local police force, instead relying on state police. Now some lawmakers looking to compel well-off communities to pay for their own law enforcement.

“If you got a community that's capable of, you got to provide your own first responders, your police, your fire,” said Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski of Luzerne County (D).

Rep. Pashinski is now working with a group of lawmakers who plan to reintroduce a bill in January that would compel communities with a large enough population and tax base to pay for their own police.


  • I Am The Antipope

    The State Police are already over funded. How’s about putting that money towords roads?
    Maybe the sheriffs depts. in PA should be given regular police powers and the state police can be dissolved and replaced with a small body to regulate the county sheriffs.

  • Drowning in taxes

    It fair that we should all be taxed to pay for the many communities who get PSP service for free and then have to pay for our own Police Dept getting taxed twice. In many cases the response times are long due to shortage of manpower in addition to the fact that PSP does not enforce local ordinances and in many cases except where an assault has happened will not respond to domestic calls. The PSP should be back out on the interstates where an example of shortage of manpower was demonstrated during an ice storm on the Pa turnpike and Bensalem Police and other local forces had to help out as there were no PSP available and the simple and fairest solution is to charge communities who depend on PSP for service at $125.00 per person per year depending on the number of calls and use the tax money to fix the deteriorating bridges and highways.

  • Barbara Powers

    Don’t get me started on PennDot! I don’t know how they ever got the funding and approval for those stupid roundabouts! After all that uproar they made over the ghostriders riding the buses!

    • Henry the 1/8th

      Yes we are 50 cents per gallon sore! What we spend at the pump has already been taxed by the state and federal government. We were charged 6% tax when purchasing the car we’re putting gas into, and that didn’t count the registration or license plate. We use this gas to drive home where several levels of government charge us thousands of dollars tax annually to be allowed to live on property we already own.

      Unless of course you don’t work or own property, then none of this applies to you.

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