Share

Virginia lawmakers closing in on transportation deal

|
Local,Virginia,Transportation,Steve Contorno,Metro and Traffic

Virginia House and Senate budget negotiators on Wednesday agreed to a plan that would pay for much-needed repairs to crumbling roads and fund new transportation projects for one of the most congested highway networks in the country.

A full vote is expected later this week. It would then go to Gov. Bob McDonnell, who sees the transportation plan as his legacy.

The compromise plan would raise $870 million a year by eliminating the 17.5 cents-per-gallon gas tax and replacing it with a 3.5 percent tax on wholesale gasoline. It would also increase the states sales tax from 5 percent to 5.3 percent.

The plan includes McDonnell's proposal to spend more general fund money on roads, though there are differences over how to do that.

Owners of alternative fuel vehicles would pay a $100 annual fee under the plan and the title tax on cars would go up from 3 percent to 4 percent.

The compromise relies on getting $200 million a year from collecting online sales tax, but that tax still needs approval from Washington. If Congress fails to act, the tax on gas would increase.

A local component for Northern Virginia localities to raise money for their own projects is still being negotiated.

The deal, hammered out behind closed doors by Democrats and Republicans from both chambers, is a compromise between McDonnell's House-approved plan to eliminate the gas tax and hike the sales tax and a Senate proposal. Lawmakers will be briefed on the proposal later Wednesday.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment