Virginia could be the first state to eliminate its gasoline tax. At the same time, Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal would increase the sales tax to fund more road repairs.
McDonnell wants to raise $3.1 billion by ditching Virginia’s 17-cents-per-gallon gas tax and increasing the sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent, reported The Virginian-Pilot
Tax on diesel fuel would remain.
In recent years, Virginia has used road-construction money for road repair as state maintenance funds ran an increasing deficit.
As cars become more fuel efficient, and revenues from the gas tax continue to fall, repair needs are expected to overwhelm the construction budget by 2017.
“The time is now for action,” McDonnell said on Tuesday. "Virginia's current revenues simply do not add up to a safe, efficient, and sustainable transportation infrastructure network. Instead of building roads, we're doing paving and potholes.”
Diesel taxes would remain, he said, because large trucks contribute much more to the destruction of state roads than cars do. The sales-tax increase would not apply to food, prescription drugs, or other specific categories of items.
In addition to tax changes, McDonnell wants increased vehicle-registration fees; a new fee for hybrid vehicles, that already use less gas; and a greater percentage of sales-tax revenue directed toward roads.
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