Pennsylvania Public Transportation Trust Fund
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The Pennsylvania Public Transportation Trust Fund receives deposits from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the State Lottery Fund, capital bonds, various taxes, and certain imposed penalties. Money deposited in the fund is used to provide financial assistance (e.g., free transportation of senior citizens), to pay for the department’s administration costs for “public passenger transportation programs,” and for all other required purposes. The funds are renewed annually (each fiscal year) as outlined below.

Sources of Funds for the Pennsylvania PTTF

  • Article 74 of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes mandated that the state’s PTTF shall receive $450 million annually from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission from 2014-2015 to 2021-2022. The amount would then reduce to $50 million for 2022-2023 and thereafter.
  • Pennsylvania’s PTTF shall also receive an amount from the State Lottery Fund to be used for the purpose of offering free rides/transportation for the state’s senior citizens. In fiscals 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, the fund received $178.88 million and $170.91 million, respectively.
  • The fund also receives 4.4% of all taxes under “Article II of the Tax Reform Code.” These are basically sales and use taxes collected in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania’s PTTF also receives “an amount of proceeds of Commonwealth capital bonds as determined annually by the Secretary of the Budget.” In 2020, for example, “$175 million aggregate principal amount of the Bonds” was allocated to the fund.
  • Furthermore, the fund receives revenue from the “Public Transportation Assistance Fund.” These revenues shall include taxes and fees imposed on the sale of new tires, lease of motor vehicles, and motor vehicle rentals.
  • The fund also receives deposits in accordance with Title “75 Pa.C.S. § 3111(a.1)(2)(ii),” i.e., penalties imposed for disobedience of “traffic-control devices.”
  • The fund receives deposits “in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 1786,” i.e. penalties imposed on owners of vehicles that are not “covered by financial responsibility.”
  • Additionally, from 2022-2023, and thereafter, “an amount equal to the amount collected under Article II of the Tax Reform Code, multiplied by the ratio that $450,000,000 is to the total amount collected under Article II of the Tax Reform Code in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, or $450,000,000, whichever is greater, shall be transferred to the fund. The source of the transfer shall be the revenue collected under section 238 of the Tax Reform Code on motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers.”

Use of Revenue

  • Money deposited in the fund is used to provide financial assistance (e.g., free transportation of senior citizens), to pay for the department’s administration costs for “public passenger transportation programs,” and for all other required purposes.

Revenue Allocations

Operating Program

  • The ‘Operating Program’ entails financial assistance for operating expenses for “local transportation organizations,” among others.
  • The program is allocated $25 million annually from the money received from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and $25 million from the last source of revenue outlined above.
  • It also receives all revenues from the Lottery Fund, 86.76% of the revenue from the sales and use taxes, all revenues received from the “Public Transportation Assistance Fund,” and all revenues from the penalties imposed on owners of vehicles that are not “covered by financial responsibility.
  • Furthermore, the program receives 69.3% of all the money deposited “in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 1904 (relating to collection and disposition of fees and moneys)” These are “fees collected under sections 1951(c) (relating to driver’s license and learner’s permit), 1952 (relating to certificate of title), 1953 (relating to security interest), 1955 (relating to information concerning drivers and vehicles), 1956 (relating to certified copies of records) and 1958 (relating to certificate of inspection).”

Asset Improvement Program (Section 1514)

  • The “Asset Improvement Program” provides “financial assistance for improvement, replacement or expansion of capital projects under” “a local transportation organization, an agency or instrumentality of the Commonwealth, a person responsible for coordinating community transportation program services, and any other person the department deems to be eligible.”
  • The program is allocated the proceeds from the “Commonwealth capital bonds,” the revenues from penalties imposed for disobedience of “traffic-control devices,” and 7.7% of the revenue from the “collection and disposition of fees and moneys.”
  • Also, 95% of all remaining revenues received from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the last source of revenue outlined above, after $30 million is transferred to the “Multimodal Transportation Fund.”

Programs of Statewide Significance

  • “Programs of Statewide Significance” include “the Persons with Disabilities Program,” “intercity passenger rail and bus services” “community transportation capital and service stabilization,” “the Welfare-to-Work Program and matching funds for Federal programs with similar intent, demonstration and research projects,” technical assistance, “other programs as determined by the department,” and “the department’s costs under sections 1510(b) (relating to program oversight and administration) and 1518 (relating to program oversight and administration).”
  • The programs receive 13.24% from the amount receipted from the sales and use taxes. It also receives the remaining revenues from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the last source of revenue outlined above, after the exclusion of the amount used to pay “fares for senior citizens on commuter rail service.”

Alternative Energy Capital Investment Program

  • The “Alternative Energy Capital Investment Program” is a “competitive grant program to implement capital improvements deemed necessary to support conversion of a local transportation organization’s fleet for use of an alternative energy source, including compressed natural gas.”
  • Pennsylvania’s PTTF deposits a maximum of $60 million from the combined revenues deposited in the fund from sources 3-8 in the Sources of Funds section above.

Multimodal Transportation Fund

  • Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth.”
  • As mentioned earlier, $30 million is transferred to the “Multimodal Transportation Fund.”

Breakdown Between Sales Tax and Bond Proceeds

  • Based on the available information from official Pennsylvania and other legal resources, Pennsylvania’s PTTF receives “an amount of proceeds of Commonwealth capital bonds as determined annually by the Secretary of the Budget.” The fund received “$175 million aggregate principal amount of the Bonds” in 2020. All the received bond proceeds are then allocated to the “Asset Improvement Program.”
  • Pennsylvania’s PTTF receives 4.4% of all sales and use taxes collected in Pennsylvania, as well as taxes and fees imposed on the sale of new tires, lease of motor vehicles, and motor vehicle rentals. The deposits receipted from the sales and use taxes are used to fund “Programs of Statewide Significance” and the ‘Operating Program.’ An additional tax amount is also collected under “section 238 of the Tax Reform Code on motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers,” and it is used to fund the “Asset Improvement Program,” “Programs of Statewide Significance,” and the ‘Operating Program.’
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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