A bad transportation package was agreed to today by negotiators from Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate.
The bill would generate $880 million for the state’s crumbling road system and replace the state’s 17.5 cents per gallon gasoline tax. The agreement calls for a 3.5 percent wholesale tax to be paid by fuel distributors. Sales taxes on most goods would increase from 5 percent to 5.3 percent.
To underscore just how out of touch the legislators are with modern thinking regarding pollution and cars, their compromise would add a $100 annual fee on alternative vehicles including hybrids. Go figure.
The plan goes against traditional transportation tax philosophy that links using roads to paying for them. Raising the state sales tax will hurt the poor the most, although not as much as in earlier proposals that called for higher sales tax hikes.
As a sop to the common man, the agreement would preclude adding new tolls on Interstate 95 in Southside, as Gov. Robert F. McDonnell had proposed.
It seems likely that the bill will be passed before the General Assembly concludes Saturday and that McDonnell will sign it.
More bad thinking and bad law from Richmond.