Prius parade protests Gov. McDonnell’s proposed hybrid tax

RICHMOND — A Prius parade descended on the Virginia Capitol on Thursday in protest of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s proposal to impose a $100 fee on alternative fuel vehicles as part of his legislative package on transportation funding.

Cars honked as they rolled past the Capitol as protesters holding signs shouted, “No hybrid tax!”

McDonnell (R)has argued the fee is needed because such vehicles use less gas and aren’t paying their fair share to maintain Virginia roads they also use. An update to the transportation bill would exempt natural gas vehicles from paying the fee.

The House of Delegates’ Finance Committee approved the transportation measure Wednesday by a vote of 14 to 8 after only an hour-long debate, averting the showdown many were expecting in the bill’s legislative debut. Four Democrats backed the effort.

McDonnell also has proposed eliminating the gas tax and increasing the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent, which he said would raise an estimated $3.1 billion over five years to pay for road, transit and rail projects in the commonwealth.

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