Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has called on the Commonwealth’s General Assembly to increase the state sales tax from 5% to 5.8% while dropping the state’s gasoline tax altogether – which is 17 cents per gallon. The plan also includes an increase in the percentage of funds used from sales tax revenues going to transportation – especially in Northern Virginia.
The problem is of course that Democrats are going to oppose any reallocation of education funds as a “raid on our schools” while Republicans, rightly so, are opposed to a tax increase on gasoline.
So, Mr. McDonnell has an admittedly, heavy lift on his hands. To pass such a bill, will take a huge amount of capital, yet in the end, yield little benefit. I’m not sure what this kind of a proposal, the day before the session opens, really accomplishes. It seems like there has to be better fights out there that Republicans can use to better northern VA transportation than this.
Certainly, a relief on the gas tax is welcome, but we then have a higher tax on groceries and every other daily item. And what about travelers using the roads from out of state? Should Virginians carry the entire burden? This isn’t a terrible plan, but it isn’t a good one either.
Hopefully, this one goes back to the drawing board.