Candidates for Pa. Senate seat spar over commuter tax issue

The race for the open Pennsylvania Senate seat in the 15th District has been a contentious one, especially in the last couple of days. The candidates are vying to replace retiring Senator Jeff Piccola.

Democrat Rob Teplitz has taken exception with a mailer sent out by Republican John McNally that ties Teplitz to three Harrisburg city officials and says he supports the institution of a commuter tax.

McNally says Teplitz has supported a commuter tax, which would be imposed on out-of-city residents who work in Harrisburg. He says Teplitz is trying to play both sides of the issue.

“His statement to the Patriot-News was very simple,” said McNally. “If elected he would push for a commuter tax on the suburban residents to bail out the City of Harrisburg.”

Teplitz says he has only supported it as leverage in negotiation.

“I don't want to see a commuter tax,” Teplitz said. “I don't want to see bankruptcy or a county-wide sales tax. Nobody does, but we have to have all the options on the table to negotiate a solution.”

City leaders in Harrisburg had discussed a commuter tax until the city was taken over by the state.

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