VA Senate Passes Compromise of Gov. McDonnell's Transportation Package
The Virginia Senate approved a compromise of Governor McDonnell’s transportation bill yesterday by a vote of 26-14. This measure includes provisions to raise the gasoline tax, allows localities to raise the sales tax and use the funds for local projects, and increases vehicle registration fees to channel more revenue toward various transportation improvements.
Senator Favola (D-Arlington) noted that this is “a key piece of legislation. It enhances funding for mass transit and rail systems, an important aspect for urban jurisdictions.”
The plan has several components. It is worth noting, however, that the largest source of revenue in the plan comes from raising the gasoline tax by 5 cents per gallon. This will bring in about $254 million a year starting in 2014, and will increase to more than $448 million within five years. This tax is indexed as well.
Sen. Favola said, “The gasoline tax does provide a nexus with road users and enables out-of-state travelers to participate in the upkeep of Virginia’s road system. It is important to note that the increase in the gas tax does not equate to an increase in gasoline prices at the pump.”
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has declared his support for the gas tax as well, considering it to be one of the best ways to solve the transportation problem in Virginia.