Conservative Think Tank Looks at Turnpike Payroll 

A conservative think tank says while private sector wages and benefits grew 46-percent in the past dozen years, the Maine Turnpike Authority’s payroll grew by 72-percent. The Maine Heritage Policy Center also says seventy-five turnpike workers were paid more than 80-thousand dollars in wages and benefits last year.The Policy Center says the turnpike authority’s payroll grew from just under 17-million dollars in 1998 to nearly 29-million dollars last year.Turnpike spokesman Scott Tompkins said the figures are misleading because they include retirement and health care benefits. He says only ten employees made more than 80-thousand dollars.