Yesterday, the VA Senate voted to amend the House Bill on Transportation, the House bill was a tax increase. This one is worse.
The link at the bottom provides earlier details about how we arrived here.
The Senate bill raises taxes by $900 million a year! Keep in mind that Republicans have a super-majority in the House and 20/20 R/D split in the Senate, with a “Republican” Lieutenant Governor who acts as the tie breaker.
This Senate plan, that garnered Republican support, now 1) keeps the current gas tax, 2) but also raises the gas tax 3) allows it to rise with inflation in the future and 4) allows localities to add taxes onto the sale of gas for local projects. Also, it seems that raising vehicle registration fees is still on the table.
Phew. Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform have both come out against all forms of this bill.
The most humorous/tragic talking point in all of this is that many Republican Virginia legislators have been complaining that Virginia’s fixed gas doesn’t rise with inflation – as if this is a bad thing. What they don’t seem to realize, is that this is a conservative tax plan coming to fruition. In fact, it is brilliant! While inflation increases the cost of everything – including taxpayer paychecks, the gas tax remains the same, essentially shrinking over time.
This plan will result in higher taxes on middle class people that drive to work, church and school and it will only help them if they live in the counties surrounding D.C. or on the coast. If you live in southside, central or Southwest Virginia, this is a tax hike with nothing in return.
The solution to our transportation issues isn’t to raise taxes that aren’t even going to be earmarked for transportation in all cases. The solution is to dedicate a greater portion of the general fund to maintaining roads and bridges. This is common sense for Republicans. Do not raise our taxes! Be more efficient with our General Fund money instead.