Skip to comments.Va. lawmaker proposes higher gas tax to pay for road construction
Posted on 11/17/2012 3:49:02 AM PST by Timber Rattler
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has called for tolls to pay for the state's much-needed road construction, but another option is now on the table.
State Sen. John Watkins (R-Powhatan) proposed a plan that would increase Virginia's gas tax from 17.5 cents a gallon to 31.5 cents a gallon. The 14-cent increase would eliminate the need to add more toll roads.
In the proposed legislation, taxpayers in the three lowest state brackets would get a break on their income tax. Electric and hybrid vehicles would also have to undergo an annual assessment of $102 a year.
(Excerpt) Read more at wtop.com ...
And don't you just find it hilarious how the Northern Virginia liberal hybrid-owners are now getting the old "bait-and-switch" treatment with this proposed new "assessment" (theft)? Remember all the promises of big tax breaks, no gas taxes, and HOV privileges if they would just shell out the extra thousands of dollars to buy their hybrids. Now they're going to get shaken down like everybody else.
I’ve read that something like 30% is skimmed off the top of highway funds before we even think about blowing money on wasteful transportation spending.
There’s plenty of money for highways, its just being blown on other crap.
I live right next door to Virginia —in Maryland, and our tax and spedn Governor M.O.M. just steals the taxes from the highway funds and uses them somewhere else (Probably Casa De Maryland and to pay for the Mexican College fund)then screams for more.
We pay more than enough to fix the roads if it were used for the roads.
Hope Va. makes out better.
By that reckoning - making everyone pay for the toll roads, vs. those that use them, is like saying that raising gas taxes can be used to supplement movie theaters so they don't have to raise the prices on refreshments - you get to pay for it even if you don't go to the theater. It's the "democratic" way.
Look at the costs of public transportation that most Americans never use. I’ve read that 25% rider funding is considered good. Some do better but others like the Detroit people mover do far worse. (its rider funded at a rate of around 7%)
A few years back, Karl Levin was seeking $2 million from highway funds to save a section of Tiger stadium. His justification for wanting highway funds was that a bus stop would be incorporated into it.
Nancy Pelosi got millions in transportation funding for a parking app so people could find empty parking spaces with their phones.
No it wouldn't. There is no need now either. There is plenty of money in state coffers to do what's needed. The problem is "what's needed". meh
I already pay a toll each day on the Coleman Bridge which spans the York. I sure as hell don’t need yet another toll or tax.
Don’t you think the ones who use it should pay for it?
If you use it===> then you should pay for it
If you don’t use it ===> then you shouldn’t pay for it
If you pay for it ===> then you should be able to use it
If you don’t pay for it ===> then you shouldn’t be able to use it
What we have now is
If you use it===> then you should pay for it
If you don’t use it ===> then you should pay for it
If you pay for it ===> then you should pay more to be able to use it
If you don’t pay for it ===> then you should be able to use it
Those of us in Southern and Western VA are simply hostages of the non-Southern elite that runs this state from NoVA and the overly reconstructed “Virginians” in the Richmond/Tidewater area. If you want to talk about secession, this is justified secession from them.
What gets me is that liberals like to point to highways and bridges and say see we need big government for highways and bridges. To which I respond terrific stick with highways and bridges. But they can’t even take care of highways and bridges.
14 cents a gallon is NOT going to kill anyone. If you burn a 1000 gallons a year (which is some serious driving) it’s still only $140 dollars per year. People, you’re not getting FREE roads - not possible.
If our AIRHEAD Governor in here in Texas would have been done this, we wouldn’t have toll roads pushing 20 cents PER MILE now. Our governor spends his time with a wad in pants bragging about how he didn’t increase the gasoline tax, while you have people in Dallas and Houston (and other cities) paying thousands of dollars more per year to drive.
I travel up I 81 pretty regular. As a matter of fact, I buy diesel fuel at a station at Exit 77, 100 miles from home because it is the least expensive fuel on my travels in either direction.
Gasoline is also less expensive.
Virginia could easily raise the fuel tax by from .07 to .10 per gallon and be in line with prices in adjacent Tennessee and still less than North Carolina.
Based on adjacent states, Virginia fuel is under taxed.
For decades, $.02 out of every $.05 in Missouri fuel taxes were redirected to other “deserving” state agencies. Two years ago, citizens of Missouri put a stop to this in a ballot question.
Other states can do this.
1. Fuel taxes are less reliable over time because they have been declining due to improved fuel efficiency even as funding needs have increased. This is exacerbated when you have more and more vehicles that don't use traditional motor fuels.
2. Check your state's laws closely to see what types of expenditures can even be paid for out of the fuel tax revenue. In some states, any transportation funding from the fuel tax can only go into new projects, not ordinary repairs.
3. At 17.5 cents per gallon, it seems like Virginia has one of the lower fuel tax rates in the U.S. (for whatever that's worth).
4. While there's an understandable inclination to make every attempt to have users pay directly for the use of public assets (hence the appeal of toll facilities in recent decades), it is very difficult to figure out who the "user" is for transportation infrastructure when you consider how much commerce takes place on our highways that benefits the public at large and not just the users of a given road or bridge.
5. Here in the NYC area we have a series of interesting situations unfolding involving major bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects. Two of them in particular -- the Goethals Bridge and the Tappan Zee Bridge -- involve bridges that have passed the end of their useful lives and need to be replaced. In both cases the agency that owns the bridges has looked at public-private arrangements for having the bridge built by a private consortium that would then collect tolls for a period of several decades to finance the cost. In both cases, the financial analysis shows that the tolls that would be required to pay the cost of the bridge would be so high that revenues would suffer simply because fewer motorists would use the bridge with such a high toll in place. The implications of this are really fascinating.
Anyway ... flame away if you feel like it, folks!
Megabump to post #15
I agree with your statements and will add my own thought.
I have no issue paying for things that I use and paying the actual cost. If it REALLY costs $212 to register my truck every year then so be it. But in most cases Political hacks see fit to skim that money. So 212 bucks become $250 with the extra going into the general fund or earmarked for some pet project.
If tax funds on a national level were segregated into specific funds and kept that way we would be way ahead.