If this report is true, then it appears Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell willing to make just about any sort of deal on transportation. Such a deal, though, may require sacrificing the centerpiece of his current proposal: the elimination of the gas tax:
When asked about whether the elimination of the gas tax would survive negotiations, Howell told reporters that lawmakers were considering its removal.
“I think what comes out of the conference committee will be somewhat different than what goes in,” Howell said. “That [gas tax element] could be a change.”
Lawmakers from both parties and transportation experts say a deal also may require Republicans to raise revenue, perhaps by agreeing to index the gas tax to inflation or boosting the sales tax, while Democrats may have to budge on their refusal to use general fund revenue on roads and highways. A deal may also have to address the desire by cities and urban counties, such as Fairfax and Arlington, to include regional funding options.
Speaker Howell has made it clear that some sort of regional funding mechanism is on the table. And that may help explain why Sen. Walter Stosch’s bill to give certain localities the ability to impose income taxes that neither require a referendum nor expire has made its way (with ample Republican votes) through the Senate. Now that bill has finally gotten some wider notice:
[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.