WASHINGTON Feb 23 Virginia's Legislature
approved on Saturday an overhaul of its transportation funding
system, moving the state away from a reliance on gasoline taxes
to fix its roads and highways.
The bill providing $880 million a year for transportation
passed on the last day of the state's legislative session and is
now headed to Governor Bob McDonnell to sign.
The legislation includes McDonnell's proposal to scrap the
state's 17.5 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax charged at the pump.
It also creates a tax on wholesale gasoline and diesel, raises
the sales tax, draws $200 million from the state's general fund
and charges a registration fee for hybrid, electric and
McDonnell, a Republican who cannot seek re-election this
year, said in a statement, "With this bill, gas prices will be
reduced, and we will reduce our historic reliance on the gas tax
which is in a long-term decline."
The main source of highway funds in about half the states
comes from a motor vehicle fuel tax, according to the National
Conference of State Legislatures. That is on top of the tax of
18.4 cents a gallon the federal government charges drivers.
"As cars get significantly better mileage and more Americans
choose alternative fuel vehicles, it is an inescapable fiscal
reality that the gas tax is no longer a dependable, sustainable
source of transportation revenue," McDonnell wrote in a letter
to legislators officially closing the session.