Morning Must Reads: No Revenue for Public Transportation & Corporations Need Another Tax Loophole for their Jets

On Thursday, we learned that Pennsylvania shed just over 15,000 jobs in September with more than half of those job losses occurring in the public sector.

This morning we learn that thanks in part to the Commonwealth's failure to fund public transportation, a private corporation is very interested in charging a fee to cut service and employment at the Port Authority of Pittsburgh.

Authority officials last month warned of a 'death spiral' of deeper service cuts along with layoffs and fare increases if Gov. Tom Corbett and the Legislature don't provide funding that is reliable and grows with inflation. CEO Steve Bland said the agency faces a projected $64 million deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1 unless state aid is increased and the authority gains significant concessions from the union representing drivers and mechanics.

'Outsourcing or privatizing the Port Authority is an option we should look at,' said [Pittsburgh Transportation Group President and CEO Jamie] Campolongo, who said the agency is 'on [the] radar' of top officials of Veolia.

In related news, the Pennsylvania legislature is rumored to be considering naming Swiss cheese as the official the cheese of the Pennsylvania state tax code.

A bill [Rep. Kerry] Benninghoff’s committee sent to the House this week would provide an exemption for sales and service of airplanes, similar to an exemption for helicopters that the Legislature approved in 2009.

Did you see that report that detailed how thousands of people who used to ride public transportation have switched to commuting via private jet? 

Me neither. 

So who exactly does Pennsylvania's proposed corporate jet loophole benefit?

Let me take you into the Way Back Machine. Remember when Pittsburgh-based PNC bank received a large taxpayer bailout and then shortly thereafter its CEO used the bank's private plane to fly to the Superbowl?

Good times!

Who knew sharing sacrifice could include so little actual sharing?


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