McDonnell proposes sending existing sales tax to Northern Virginia for roads
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Friday that he is asking state legislators to designate a portion of the sales tax to road projects in the two most congested areas of the state, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
The .25 percent of sales tax revenue generated in those regions would provide $140 million a year.
Democrats, who narrowly control the state Senate, will likely oppose his proposal to use some of the sales tax for roads. They have long contended that Virginia's ailing road network requires raising additional revenue through a tax increase and not through using the state's general fund -- which provides money to core services like schools and public safety -- to finance highway improvements.
McDonnell was joined at a morning news conference by at least one Democratic senator, though not a leader, Republican delegates including Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford), and representatives of 37 transportation groups.
Last month, McDonnell announced that he will ask legislators to spend $400 million on roads and bridges while borrowing an additional $2.9 billion over the next three years for transportation. Democrats and some conservative Republicans are opposed taking on more debt for roads.
The $400 million would come from last year's budget surplus and money recouped from an audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation.
| January 14, 2011; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate, Transportation
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