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Mark Warner Opposes Higher Gas Tax

Tim Craig

As part of the General Assembly's ongoing special session, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee will try Wednesday to push through proposals to increase Virginia's 17.5 cent a gallon gas tax to raise money for transportation.

Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) wants a 6 cent a gallon increase, which will be phased in over six years. Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William), chairman of the Finance Committee, wants the tax raised 1.6 cents per year for 10 years. Saslaw notes Virginia's gas tax is far below the national average of 28.5 cents a gallon. Republicans, along with Democrats in the House, argue its irresponsible to raise the gas tax because consumers are already being hit with record fuel prices.

Former Democratic governor Mark R. Warner, a candidate for U.S. Senate, appears to be siding with the GOP and House Democrats in this debate.

When asked last week whether he would support an increase in the federal gas tax, Warner said, "Obviously, I don't support raising the gas tax when its at $4 a gallon."

He added, "I don't think we ought to be raising the gas tax at this point." When asked if his position extended to Saslaw's bill at the state level, Warner responded, "I am not going to weigh in on that but I think that is a big hill to climb at this point."

By Tim Craig  |  June 24, 2008; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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