AASHTO Journal, 22 February 2013
Virginia could be close to its first comprehensive transportation funding and reform measure since 1986 after a legislative conference committee approved a nearly $900 million compromise package Wednesday.
According to numerous news sources, the proposal would replace Virginia’s 17.5 cents-per-gallon state gasoline tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline and it would apply a 6 percent tax on diesel fuel. The plan would also boost state sales taxes from 5 percent to 5.3 percent, levy a $100 fee on alternative fuel vehicles, and shift about $200 million a year in sales taxes to highway use in five years.
The General Assembly must approve the proposal before the end of the legislative session, which is scheduled to adjourn on Saturday.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, who earlier this year recommended eliminating Virginia’s gas tax in favor of a bump in state sales taxes (see related AASHTO Journal story), gave his full support to the legislative compromise.
“This is our collective opportunity to join together, as Republicans and Democrats, to solve one of Virginia’s most intractable and longstanding problems,” McDonnell said in a statement. “This year, we have finally worked together, across party and regional lines, to fix this quality of life issue.”