Virginia House passes governor’s transportation funding bill

Virginia’s House of Delegates on Tuesday passed Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s transportation plan to replace the gas tax with an increase in the sales tax to pay for roads.

The vote was 53-46.

Members on both sides of the aisle said they disliked elements of the package. But they also said something was better than nothing and hoped to advance the measure to continue working and reaching a compromise to improve it.

“Do I like everything in it? No, I don’t,” Del. S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) said.

The House bill eliminated McDonnell’s proposed $100 fee on new hybrid cars and allowed for regional transportation projects. But it kept the centerpiece of McDonnell’s plan: a general sales tax increase and his abolition of the 17½ cents-per-gallon gasoline tax. Jones said the bill would bring in about $52 million less than McDonnell’s bill over five years.

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