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  1. #1
    opie is offline Senior Member
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    Default Gov Bob McDonald of VA has a Transportation, and it Sucks Bad.

    When running for Governor McDonald said he would fix the transportation funding problem in Virginia. The gas tax hasn't been raised since 1986 and now the state is running out of money for it's roads. Every year he has proprosed a new fix, one year take money out of the education budget which got shot down. Than he had the private public partnership thing, which really didn't work either . So a new plan.
    According to a press release issued this afternoon, the proposed funding plan would add $1.8 billion more in highway construction funding over the next five years. McDonnell proposes to accomplish this by eliminating the state’s 17.5-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and replacing it with an 0.8 percent increase to the Sales and Use Tax, diverting 0.25% from existing sales tax revenues, increasing vehicle registration fees, and then locking in the revenue streams by passing a separate constitutional amendment.
    Wait a minute I thought the fuel tax was the most fair tax there was. It charged you for use. Want to pay less tax drive less. So now I go to the store on my bike to buy a sweeter I'm paying for your road. Than there is this:
    The package also would impose a $100-per-year fee on vehicles using alternative fuels
    I thought the reason you charge extra fees on alternate fuel vehicles was because they didn't pay fuel tax. Now the guy just wants to punish them because they are different? Is this the wave of the future, Bob considers himself a reliable conservative will other Republican Governors follow his lead.
    McDonnell Throws Virginia Transportation Policy into Reverse | Bacon's Rebellion

  2. #2
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    tolls are probably the most fair. gas taxes are still used to divert money from urban areas to rural ones or to political pet projects rather than where they are needed. tolls can help pay for roads that are going to be used and help people make better decisions by eliminating the free component of highways
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  3. #3
    raider.adam is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by opie View Post
    Wait a minute I thought the fuel tax was the most fair tax there was. It charged you for use. Want to pay less tax drive less. So now I go to the store on my bike to buy a sweeter I'm paying for your road.
    Well, the police, schools, truck that delivered the sweater, street lights when you bike at night, signage, bike lanes and other things you use use the roads also, so just taking a bike doesn't mean you aren't using roads.

    But yes, it does seem like an odd switch to sales tax from a gasoline tax to pay for roads.

  4. #4
    Naveen is offline Senior Member
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    Pretty dumb, and a sop to the auto and gas industries. I wonder if he would support cutting fairs on public transit and shifting the funding to sales taxes? (I assume not.)

  5. #5
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    Pretty dumb, and a sop to the auto and gas industries. I wonder if he would support cutting fairs on public transit and shifting the funding to sales taxes? (I assume not.)
    •Increase vehicle registration fees by $15 and dedicate the revenue to intercity passenger rail and transit: There is a strong and growing demand for public transportation in Virginia, both within and between the state's regions. The successful passenger rail services to/from Washington, DC and Lynchburg, Richmond, and Norfolk, and the dramatic growth in transit in Virginia (especially in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads) requires greater financial support from the Commonwealth. This need is anticipated to grow as passenger rail services are extended to Roanoke, light rail is extended to Virginia Beach, and Metrorail is opened to Dulles Airport and beyond. Revenues generated by the fee will be split between passenger rail and transit.
    •Impose a $100 annual Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fee and dedicate the revenues to transit: The governor is a strong supporter of alternative fuel vehicles. He has directed that Virginia's state fleet be converted to natural gas vehicles. And he knows that alternative fuel vehicles will only continue to grow in popularity and use in the years ahead. In fact, over the past four years, as gas prices have grown from less than $2 per gallon to as high as $4, more Virginians have turned to alternative fuel vehicles. There are over 91,000 of these vehicles currently registered in Virginia. This is a great development for energy security and conservation, but it does present a challenge to how transportation funding has been derived in America for the past century. Drivers of alternative fuel vehicles that use natural gas or electricity pay no motor fuels tax at the state or federal level and thus do not contribute to the primary means of funding roads. However, these vehicles still have the same impact on Virginia's roadways as conventional fuel vehicles.
    Governor McDonnell Proposes Major Transportation Funding Overhaul to Inject $3.1 Billion into Virginia's Highways, Rail and Transit Systems in Next 5 Years
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  6. #6
    opie is offline Senior Member
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    Well they came up with a grand compromise that the Gov said he would sign. The detail:
    Elimination of the fixed 17.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax, to be replaced by a 3.5% wholesale tax that will increase revenues as gas prices head higher.
    A 0.3 percentage-point increase in the sales tax.
    Diversion of $200 million a year in existing General Fund revenues on the logic that transportation is a “core function of government.”
    Imposition of a $100 million annual fee on alternative-fuel vehicles to ensure that they contribute toward the construction and maintenance of roads.
    A one percentage point increase in the sales tax on automobile sales, which currently enjoys a discount off the sales and use tax.
    The levying of a 6% wholesale tax on diesel.
    Designation of revenue, should it materialize, from the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would require online sellers to collect states’ retail sales tax.
    Creation of a dedicated revenue stream (not clear what as of this writing) for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads transportation needs.
    Legislators Cobble together Transportation Funding Compromise | Bacon's Rebellion

  7. #7
    Lovetron is offline Member
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    I'm no fan of McDonnell's plan but a discussion about the continued use of gas taxes to finance transportation is worth having. Obviously with people driving less and car getting better gas mileage, the viability of this revenue stream is questionable. It is no longer a guarantee that gas tax receipts will cover each state's capital needs. Same with toll revenue. States increasingly have to use general fund revenues for transportation. Other models exist - VMT taxes, variable priced tolling, etc. - but most are untested.

 

 

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