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Tell your VA Senator to vote NO on SB 631, a bill to hike gas taxes
email from AFP ^

Posted on 02/13/2012 10:36:58 AM PST by Gopher Broke

It is amazing how much legislators forget while they are in Richmond. While their constituents are home balancing their budget and making do with much less, the Senate of Virginia is supporting efforts to increase taxes.

This week, the Virginia State Senate will consider a bill that will increase the gas tax (SB 631). The sponsor of the bill calls this an “inflation adjustment,” but AFP-VA is calling this a tax increase on hard working families of Virginia. Increasing the gas tax will drive up consumer costs; unfairly hurting the less fortunate and the unemployed.

Tell your Legislators you oppose increasing the gas tax.

Sincerely,

Audrey Jackson State Director Americans for Prosperity - Virginia


TOPICS: US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: gasprices; gastaxes; senate; taxes; taxhike; taxincrease; va; vageneralassembly

1 posted on 02/13/2012 10:37:03 AM PST by Gopher Broke
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To: Gopher Broke

Click here to find out who is your VA Senator:

http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

Then click here to find your senator’s email and phone number to contact them:

http://lis.virginia.gov/121/mbr/MBR.HTM


2 posted on 02/13/2012 10:39:58 AM PST by Gopher Broke (Repeal Obamacare !!)
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To: Gopher Broke

Nope. I strongly prefer a higher gas tax to tolls on every bridge and tunnel. Not to mention 95 and 64. VA needs new revenue for roads...both maintenance and new construction. There’s no way around it.


3 posted on 02/13/2012 10:57:57 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: Gopher Broke
Thx. Just sent an e-mail to Sen Steve Martin.

As usual, the folks living in Tidewater and NoVA want the rest of the Commonwealth to pay for their roads.

I will be willing to bet that Gov McDonnell will want to put his proposed Interstate toll booth here in “Central” VA at the confluence of I-95/I-85. We got rid of that death trap well over a decade ago and will fight like bloody hell if they try to stick us with it again!!!

Take care,

-Geoff

4 posted on 02/13/2012 11:41:40 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: pgkdan

“Nope. I strongly prefer a higher gas tax to tolls on every bridge and tunnel. Not to mention 95 and 64. VA needs new revenue for roads...both maintenance and new construction. There’s no way around it.”

Watch it pal. On this site REAL CONSERVATIVES (so I’m told) want tolls, more tolls, and more tolls than that. The Rick Perry gang will come after you with guns BLAZING. They’re in the process of flooding our state with toll roads, most of them private and all of them charging at least 25 cents per mile (roughly 5 times the cost to build and operate these roads).

HOW DARE YOU support paying for roads with a gas. My, you, you are a SOCIALIST (at least that’s what they called me).

We had these debates about 5 years ago in Texas. Perry still has a perfect record in making sure the gas tax isn’t raised, so we’re getting a lot of his toll roads. Not fun, at all - it’s a freedom issue.


5 posted on 02/13/2012 6:45:52 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

“I will be willing to bet that Gov McDonnell will want to put his proposed Interstate toll booth here in “Central” VA at the confluence of I-95/I-85. We got rid of that death trap well over a decade ago and will fight like bloody hell if they try to stick us with it again!!!”

No, he may get his tolls, but it won’t be a toll booth. Instead the Revenue Engine (as they call way overpriced toll roads in the transportation world) will consist of transponder readers and license plate cameras. With a transponder you get to pay 25 cents per mile; without one, the license plate camera will snap a shot and you will be billed the same 25 cents, plus a $5 ‘Service Fee’.


6 posted on 02/13/2012 6:49:17 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Gopher Broke

Sorry. I hate tax increases as much, if not more than, the next gal, but something must be done with our roads and the current fiasco in Hampton Roads with the tolls is NOT the way to go.

I don’t even live in Hampton roads, but the toll scheme is ridiculous. I’m not sure if this particular scheme is any better - but maybe it will open the door to some discussion about the condition of our roads.


7 posted on 02/13/2012 7:24:33 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: BobL
The hi-tech solution sounds like a vast improvement from a safety aspect (there were several fatal crashes at the I-85/I-95 confluence; which consisted of 2 separate toll booths within a 2 mile stretch of I-95); but, it would still put an unfair burden on this area of VA where a large volume of people have to commute daily between the Tri-City area and Richmond.

Do those cameras work at turnpike speeds or do they require traffic to slow down for the transponder to be able to read what it receives from the license plate camera?

8 posted on 02/13/2012 7:24:56 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost
As usual, the folks living in Tidewater and NoVA want the rest of the Commonwealth to pay for their roads.

I live on the Eastern Shore and know that the infrastructure, which includes roads, of both Tidewater and NoVA benefit every one of us living in Virginia.

I don't like higher taxes, but the roads have to be maintained for the benefit of us all and therefore we all must pay.

What needs to be done first and foremost is change the configuration of where and how the gas taxes are allocated. If that is done, maybe the tolls can go bye-bye, as they should.

9 posted on 02/13/2012 7:32:26 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

“Do those cameras work at turnpike speeds or do they require traffic to slow down for the transponder to be able to read what it receives from the license plate camera? “

The cameras can read at any speed. But I agree...it’s best to spread the cost of the highways as much as possible, and DEFINITELY not use them as a piggy bank for other projects, as typically happens when tolling authorities figure out just how much money people are will fork over to get from Point A to Point B.


10 posted on 02/13/2012 7:53:07 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: BobL
We had these debates about 5 years ago in Texas. Perry still has a perfect record in making sure the gas tax isn’t raised, so we’re getting a lot of his toll roads. Not fun, at all - it’s a freedom issue.

McDonnell is doing the same thing here. Turning over new road projects to private companies who will have the authority to charge tolls. And we're not talking $.50 to a buck. We're talking $3.75 at the low end and upwards of $12 just to cross a tunnel. If you've never been to Hampton Roads you can't quite appreciate the fact that it's damned near impossible to get anywhere from anywhere witout crossing a bridge or tunnel.

Some folks who call themselves conservatives (mistakenly IMHO as they're really libertarians) have a knee jerk reaction to the word tax and are automatically opposed no matter what. Conservatives should recognize that there are legitimate functions of government that need to be funded. The DOD and highway maintenance and construction are 2 that immediately come to mind!

11 posted on 02/14/2012 5:58:30 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: Gopher Broke

If Virginia raises the gas tax, it will mean us Tennesseans who buy gas over the boarder will probably buy it in Tennessee.

There is a disparity between virginia and higher priced Tennessee and North Carolina gas prices.


12 posted on 02/14/2012 6:04:34 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: Ozymandias Ghost
usual, the folks living in Tidewater and NoVA want the rest of the Commonwealth to pay for their roads.

Everyone in VA enjoys the tax revenue generated in Tidewater from our ports and tourism. There are distribution centers, intermodal transit hubs and warehouses all over the commonwealth that provide jobs to residents in every area of the state based on freight being moved through our ports not to mention coal exports. Someone has to pay for the roads and as the traffic in the port explodes, as it has to the benefit of the entire commonwealth, traffic here has become unbearable.

13 posted on 02/14/2012 6:04:36 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: pgkdan

Wow, sorry to hear that. It seems to be a common weakness among Republican governors. All they have to do is TAKE A LOOK at the cost to high highways like the one in Canada...

http://www5.407etr.com/tolls/rate-chart-2012.html

24 cents per kilometer is 38 cents per mile. I mean it’s not a state secret behind the Iron Curtain - it’s there FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.


14 posted on 02/14/2012 6:38:38 AM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: pgkdan
“Everyone in VA enjoys the tax revenue generated in Tidewater from our ports and tourism. There are distribution centers, intermodal transit hubs and warehouses all over the commonwealth that provide jobs to residents in every area of the state based on freight being moved through our ports not to mention coal exports. Someone has to pay for the roads and as the traffic in the port explodes, as it has to the benefit of the entire commonwealth, traffic here has become unbearable.
____________________

Hi Pgkdan-

Your argument has some merit and I do understand the economic issues involved; but, my point is that EVERYONE does not share EQUALLY in all the benefits that you have cited.

For instance: Does a an elderly couple living in a rural part of VA who earn $40K/year (fixed income) and drive an older vehicle that gets 20 mpg really benefit the same as an Tidewater entrepreneur who makes $200K/year running an Internet “niche” business and drives a Chevy Volt? (I am assuming the Volt doesn't burn up in his garage.)

The Internet entrepreneur benefits greatly from the Interstate highway system and the large tractor trailers/delivery trucks (a primary destroyer of highways) running up and down these highways; but, he pays nothing for gasoline.

The elderly couple may have to drive 30 miles round trip to get to the nearest town for necessities/pharmaceuticals/medical appointments, etc one or more times a week; so, they benefit somewhat; but, pay a whole lot more for gasoline.

While my comparison may seem extreme it points out the fallacy of taxing everyone’s gasoline at the same rate to pay for highway construction/maintenance.

Several decades ago I worked for VA Dept of Highways (Now VDOT) performing final review/assessment of penalties on completed highway construction projects. It was a well known fact at that time that the existing Interstate highway system would last decades longer if it were not for the damage caused by large tractor trailers. Passenger vehicles caused little or no damage to these highways. I doubt that fact has changed appreciably since then.

So there is a case that can be made for taxing those who use or depend heavily on large trucks at a much higher rate prorated to the actual highway miles these trucks travel. (I expect some of that is already incorporated into the current licensing requirements and other tariffs placed on these vehicles; but, I also expect that the general public is still paying a lot more than their “fair share.”)

Of course, I recognize that those taxes would then be passed along to the various customers who depend on those trucks; and, in turn, those customers would add that cost to the products they sell; and so on. Ultimately, that seems like a more equitable disposition and distribution of the highway costs.

The “bottom line” is that the cost of highway construction, maintenance and repair should be directly tied to the ACTUAL MILES TRAVELLED by a vehicle; NOT by the VOLUME OF GASOLINE that you put into the gas tank.

Please understand, I am not against compromise on this issue; I just believe that this needs to be discussed sensibly and factually to reach an equitable solution.

Regards,

-Geoff

15 posted on 02/14/2012 8:08:13 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Gabz
Hi Gabz-

Pls see my post #15.

Hah ...I am soooo envious of you; the Eastern Shore is a beautiful place! I remember a couple of winters back when you were posting about the storm tides and how heavy the winds and snow were out there during one of those big Nor’easters. There is an awesome beauty that is both terrible and, yet, wondrous to behold in those great storms!!!

I remember the old days of the Hotel Wachapreague before it burned down ...and (don't tell the Yankees) that there used to be a Kiptopeke Ferry before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and that Chincoteague is pronounced “SHINK’ uh teeg!”

Bayside or Oceanside; the Eastern Shore is a sportsman’s paradise and well worth the costs of the weather and inconvenience to be there!

Godspeed!

-Geoff

16 posted on 02/14/2012 8:33:50 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: bert
There is a disparity between virginia and higher priced Tennessee and North Carolina gas prices.

There is, but it can not be explained solely on higher taxes. For example, NC's gas tax is 20cents higher than VA, but the price difference is only 10cents --- where did that other 10cents go?

17 posted on 02/14/2012 10:21:58 AM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

I did read your post #15, I still stand by my contention that with a restructuring of the allocation of the gas tax revenues a modest increase in said tax would be justified. And with the way gas prices are currently fluctuating, very few people would even notice it.


18 posted on 02/14/2012 10:30:24 AM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Gabz
“I still stand by my contention that with a restructuring of the allocation of the gas tax revenues a modest increase in said tax would be justified. And with the way gas prices are currently fluctuating, very few people would even notice it.”
___________________

I had forgotten you concluded your first post with, “What needs to be done...is change the configuration of where and how the gas taxes are allocated...”

I honestly don't know how that would work; however, it sounds like some bureaucrat, or group thereof, picking and choosing who will pay what level of tax. The “devil is in the details” w/those types of solutions; however, perhaps that is not what you are proposing and I am willing to listen as to what your concept is and how it would be applied.

Given the above possible caveat, you or I might not notice a small increase in our individual gas costs; however, remember that when you raise the price of gasoline even a small amount it has a ripple effect throughout the entire economy due to the increased transportation costs for any product or material transported by motor vehicle.

Of course, regardless of the above factors, raising the tax on gasoline is still an unfair practice in that it does not address what the real factors are that create the need for additional highway construction, maintenance and repair; it merely penalizes those who have less efficient engines.

Regards,

-Geoff

19 posted on 02/14/2012 11:17:18 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost
I honestly don't know how that would work; however, it sounds like some bureaucrat, or group thereof, picking and choosing who will pay what level of tax.

That is my understanding of the current allocation process.

I don't know, but maybe allocate it by congressional district? Or some type of a regional allocation loosely based upon those district lines?

I remember when the new bridge/causeway extension to Chincoteague was being built and the whining all of us locals were subjected to from the people of NoVA and how unfair it was that we were getting so much of "their" money we were getting for it, even though the lion's share of transportation money is allocated to NoVA. They didn't want to pay for it, but they sure screamed the loudest when the old bridge would malfunction and they were stuck on the causeway. There was no sympathy for the poor woman who had to be transported across the channel by a Coast Guard cutter to meet an ambulance on the other side because the Chincoteague ambulance couldn't get across. No, it was all about their personal inconvenience.

Given the above possible caveat, you or I might not notice a small increase in our individual gas costs; however, remember that when you raise the price of gasoline even a small amount it has a ripple effect throughout the entire economy due to the increased transportation costs for any product or material transported by motor vehicle.

But the same ripple effect is caused by adding more and higher tolls. And in the case of some of the new tolls about to go in down in Hampton Roads, more will wind up in the pockets of the new "owners" of the crossings than will go toward building them. A nickel a gallon tax spread across the commonwealth will most likely generate far more revenue than will those tolls and will in no way hit anyone's pocket as badly as the $1,000 a year hit folks in Portsmouth and Norfolk are going to be hit with.

Infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, are actually a function of government that benefit us all and thus should be paid for by us all.

My husband just came in to ask me a question and about had a hissy fit about what I am advocating here because he knows how much I always oppose regressive taxes, and a gas tax is regressive, no 2 ways about it. But so is a sales tax..........

20 posted on 02/14/2012 11:51:41 AM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Gabz
OK; I think I see what you're driving at (no pun intended). I am not necessarily advocating local tolls in Tidewater and NoVA; that's not fair either as it puts all the burden on those areas.

I am looking for a fair and reasonable system that will allocate the tax proportionate to the actual road usage and cost/benefit ratio. There are obviously a lot of complex issues interacting here. These really need more study before the pols arbitrarily increase the tax on gasoline; which is already forecast to hit $4/gallon by this summer and some are forecasting will reach #5/gallon by this time next year.

The economy is teetering on the brink and raising taxes on something as essential as fuel just seems reckless in the current economy.

Take care,

-Geoff

21 posted on 02/14/2012 12:13:54 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

I’m actually in total agreement with you. actually there is no excuse for the high price of gasoline, or any fuel for that matter. Heck we’re exporting the dag gone stuff, which tells me there is plenty of it and the price should not be anywhere near what it currently is.

I don’t know what the answer is, but there has to be something..........

have a good evening.


22 posted on 02/14/2012 1:56:53 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Gabz

You too!

Looks like the Senate just passed the tax bill; so, I guess we both lost.


23 posted on 02/14/2012 2:06:07 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Gabz
Heck we’re exporting the dag gone stuff, which tells me there is plenty of it and the price should not be anywhere near what it currently is.

Yes, we're exporting fuel for the first time in years.

But there is a reason.

Because of lower demand, the refiners have shut down a number of refineries -- the most inefficient ones, mostly located in the Northeast. It makes sense, doesn't it, to shut down the most inefficient facilities when there is an over-supply?

This left the Gulf Coast refineries, still running at close to full blast (the most efficient way to operate a refinery), with an over-supply for the markets they serve. Normally, the excess would be shipped to the fuel-poor part of the country (i.e., the Northeast). But there was no pipeline capacity available to do so -- the eco-warriors and the government having mitigated against any expansion in pipeline capacity between the Gulf Coast and the Northeast.

So, what to do with the excess capacity? Ship it in tankers to the fuel-starved Northeast? Just one problem: All shipments from one U.S. port to another U.S. port must travel on U.S.-flagged shipping with fully unionized crews. Which is so prohibitively expensive that nobody ships port-to-port in the U.S. anymore.

So, instead, the Gulf Coast refineries put their excess product on a tanker and ship it to (mostly) Caribbean countries. Meanwhile, Caribbean refineries (and Nigeria) ship fuel to the Northeast -- because this is the most efficient way to supply the product to the market.

In other words, the only reason why we are exporting fuel is two-fold:

1. A weak economy, thus a weak market for refined products.

2. Adverse government policy on pipeline construction and maritime labor.

If you still want to blame Big Oil, recognize that they're only acting in their stockholders' best interests.

24 posted on 02/14/2012 2:20:54 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: okie01
If you still want to blame Big Oil, recognize that they're only acting in their stockholders' best interests.

Where did I blame Big Oil? I'll tell you ----- NO WHERE.

25 posted on 02/14/2012 3:23:10 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Gabz
Where did I blame Big Oil?

Forgive my lack of clarity. I didn't intend to say that YOU did. I was addressing those who might read the post -- and there are a lot of FReepers right now who are blaming Big Oil -- because they aren't aware of the business environment.

26 posted on 02/14/2012 3:55:56 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: okie01

I was in the middle of discussing increased gas taxes vs. increasing the number and cost of tolls here in Virginia, the current price of gas was just a passing tangent on the main issue at hand.

I am well aware of the business climate that has skyrocketed the fuel prices - and I blame the government, not the oil companies.


27 posted on 02/14/2012 4:06:10 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: pgkdan

Virginia has a big slush fund that they always keep secret. They have plenty of money to build roads. Just another money grab.


28 posted on 02/15/2012 8:13:14 AM PST by Carry me back
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