Va. Senate's Transportation Plan Includes Rail Money - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

March 26, 2015
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Va. Senate's Transportation Plan Includes Rail Money

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 4:50 pm | Updated: 5:21 pm, Wed Feb 13, 2013.

With just six Republicans in favor, the Virginia Senate passed its version of a transportation package that would devote $300 million for the Dulles Rail extension and raise more than $900 million a year for maintanence and roads construction.

The Senate plan takes a different route than Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposal to bring in funds for Virginia roads. It would raise the gas tax from 17.5 cents to 22.5 cents per gallon, while McDonnell wanted to eliminate the gas tax entirely.

The Senate’s plan also allows a slight increase in the amount of current sales tax revenue that can be allocated to transportation, raising the percentage from .5 percent to .55 percent to bring in $56 million by 2018. McDonnell advocated gradually raising the share of general fund revenue dedicated to the state’s road system to .75 percent, which would raise $284 million for transportation by 2018.

The Senate adopted one aspect of McDonnell’s proposal—increasing the vehicle registration fee by $15. But its plan does not include the governor’s proposal to charge a $100 fee for hybrid vehicles.

Sen. Mark Herring (D-33) touted the funding package as a bi-partisan solution.

"I am especially pleased that the plan contains $100 million for the Dulles Rail Project each year for the next three years," he stated. "This additional funding is critical to help keep tolls from skyrocketing on the Dulles Toll Road."

Requests for comment from Sen. Dick Black's (R-13) office were not immediately returned.

In a statement released today, Gov. Bob McDonnell sounded like he was willing to compromise, and he urged the lawmakers in both the chambers to do the same.

“Achieving our collective goal will require finding common ground,” he stated. “That common ground must include a significant commitment of the projected future growth in general fund revenues, greater reliance on sustainable revenue sources which grow with economic activity, as opposed to gasoline tax increases, and sufficient revenues to address maintenance crossover, construction, passenger rail, and transit needs without over burdening our citizens and businesses with taxes.”

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates--it is expected to reject the plan--which will leave representatives from both chambers to hash out a final version in a conference committee.

Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • norges55 posted at 10:11 am on Thu, Feb 14, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    Corperate altruism using Virginia taxpayer dollars for the MWAA.

     
  • Tax Pig posted at 9:32 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Tax Pig Posts: 56

    Dulles rail doesn't remedy traffic congestion and, indeed, triggers more development that, in turn, increases traffic congestion and causes a need for more road and non-rail transit improvements that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars more.
    This not an investment at all, it's more like an economic stimulus for the rail station developers/campaign donors. So Sad!
    From the WSJ: That project, which rivals California's high-speed rail project for fiscal implausibility, has been plagued with so many cost overruns that its construction and operating costs will, according to a Heritage Foundation study, "be at least $40,000" per new round-trip weekday rider, or "about as much as the annual cost to lease each new rider a Rolls Royce."

     
  • norges55 posted at 6:18 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    Tolls already went up with the skyrocket. Now you want to give the MWAA a hundred million a year for what? Pure BS and a wonder these crooks aren't in jail for giving or tax dollars away. Herring is a bi-partisan idiot and so is anyone else who votes for this plan. 110 million dollars a year in registration fees for rail and bus, not for road improvements get the picture.