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Posted at 3:48 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

McDonnell wants $400 million for roads

By Anita Kumar

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell announced Thursday that he will ask the legislature to spend $400 million immediately on roads and bridges while borrowing an additional $2.9 billion over the next three years for transportation.

McDonnell wants to spend $150 million from last year's budget surplus and $250 million recouped from an audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation as well as issue two bonds totaling $2.8 billion.

"Over the past two decades, state support for transportation has not kept up with our growth as a Commonwealth. This has led to more congestion, longer commutes and missed economic opportunities,'' McDonnell said. "That trend must be reversed, and this is the time to do it. By putting $4 billion into transportation over the next three years, we will continue that progress, and get more Virginians back to work in the process.''

By Anita Kumar  | December 9, 2010; 3:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

don't raise my income or sales taxes to pay that debt service, and don't take a surplus that was generated out of general funds to cover transpo bills. Pay out of user fees like an adult.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | December 9, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@TheBoreaucrat

"don't raise my income or sales taxes to pay that debt service, and don't take a surplus that was generated out of general funds to cover transpo bills. Pay out of user fees like an adult."

Attitudes like yours are exactly why Northern Virginia's road network has deteriorated to the point of being second-rate, hence lowering the quality of life. Continue down that path, and Virginia won't look so "business friendly" anymore.

FYI, employers look at more than just low taxes when they examine locations. Keep it up with the selfishness. MD will start eating VA's lunch, even with its higher taxes. We have the sense to spend money on roads. NOVA hasn't built a new road in over a generation, except for the privately-owed, high-tolls Dulles Greenway and HOT lanes.

Posted by: ceefer66 | December 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

ceefer66, as always, you are a ray of sunshine in my otherwise dour slog through the WaPo comments. I have no problem with spending on transportation -- in fact, I'm highly in favor of it.

But don't take it out of general funds. How is that 'selfish'? Raise the gas tax, implement a VMT tax, or otherwise find a way to put the costs on those who consume the service and are more willing to pay for quality and reap those benefits, rather than diverting from general funds, which should be used for either services or tax cuts of more general applicability.

What do businesses prefer? They prefer that costs of transportation be internalized via user fees, in order to make for more predictable direct costs of logistics, and if demand is managed and alternatives provided, congestion relief results in greater predictability in travel times, which removes a great deal of wasted inventory in the supply chain.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | December 9, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

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