Conference committee reaches transportation deal

A House and Senate conference committee appears to have reached a deal on transportation funding. According to this report, the details include:

According to Del. Chris Jones, the agreement would eliminate the state’s current 17.5 cents-per-gallon gas tax and replace it with a 3.5 percent tax on gas at the wholesale level. The tax on diesel would be six percent.

The statewide sales tax would rise from 5 percent to 5.3 percent. The titling tax on vehicles would go from 3 percent to 4 percent. The agreement retains the $100 fee on alternative fuel vehicles that Gov. Bob McDonnell had proposed. It counts on money from legislation now before Congress that would make it easier for states to collect sales tax revenue from online sales, but if that bill does not pass by 2015, the agreement contains a trigger to raise the gas tax slightly higher.

The agreement still increases the percentage of general fund money dedicated to transportation, but not as much as McDonnell’s original proposal. It also increases the percentage of money dedicated to education, something Democrats pushed for.

That tracks very closely with an earlier report from the Washington Post.

Still to be hashed out are “two regional components for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, hoping to generate about $350 million a year for Northern Virginia roads and $175 to $200 million a year for Hampton Roads.”

The big question: will the rest of the General Assembly agree to the compromise?

And just for reference, all of this wheeling and dealing is going on against the backdrop of rapidly rising gas prices. According the AAA, gas prices in Virginia are three cents higher today than yesterday, 20 cents more than a week ago, and a whopping 42 cents more than they were a month ago.

Good news if you’ve decided to index gas taxes. Bad news if you’re the poor sap paying for it all at the pump.

  • Mike Barrett

    This possibility of new taxes for transportation is an astonding turn of
    events, and while republicans in the House may still kill it, I think a deal
    will get done. Who gets the credit will be sorted our later, but it seems to me
    that a new breed of republican has appeared and has refused to follow the old
    party line of now taxes. They have realize the Governor was simply to tidid and too scared of his right wing to make a bold move. And these republicans suddenly realized they
    would bear the brunt of future voter outrage about tolls, about congestion, and
    about the deplorable condition of our transportation infrastructure. For many of
    us, this initiative is a decade too late, but if it passes, will be a sign that
    help is finally on the way.

    • pinecone321

      No one is stopping you from writing a check and donating it to the state tax pot, just as no one is barring Warren Buffet from paying off the national debt.

      • Mike Barrett

        I guess it is clear that you are not one of the breed of republicans I was talking about.

        • pinecone321

          Thank God!

  • pinecone321

    So this is supposed to be THE transportation plan that finally may get passed, after the decades of nada. What does transportation have to do with education? Could this be considered the Windmill kickback to the Democrats in order to get something passed? Haven’t past transportation funds already gone to the Dems. pet issue, education? Just how much are we willing to give to the public indoctrination institutions until we shout STOP? And imagine that, your passing test scores will now be based on your race.

  • pinecone321

    This whole transportation plan which was started by McDonnell, was done in the same stupid and idiotic way that the House R’s in Washington approached the Fiscal Cliff deal.

    You never tell the Democrats that you are willing to increase taxes, and actually tell them by how much. The liberals take that number, and work upwards from there.

    So McDonnell tells the Dems. he’s willing to increase the sales tax rate, and all kinds of fees. You knew it was going to get worse from there.

    What internet sales tax legislation is currently before the Congress in Wash.? I was unaware that it has even been proposed.

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