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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 01/14/2011

McDonnell proposes sending existing sales tax to Northern Virginia for roads

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

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.

By Anita Kumar  | 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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Next: Key Democrat says he's likely to vote for McDonnell road bonds


why do dems always want to raise taxes?

also, i disagree about borrowing money too. just a slippery slope.

It's called cut spending....novel concept eh?

Posted by: | January 14, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

There should be a rule that whenever someone says "cut spending" they should be required to clearly state what should be cut. "Cut spending" is completely meaningless unless you can tell us what should be cut.

Posted by: Aerowaz | January 14, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

We are one of the best managed states due to our record of responsible government. We are one of the leanest state governments in the country.

Posted by: Niner1 | January 14, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Uh, last time I checked McDonnell was a Republican.

Posted by: JBinVA1 | January 14, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Since McDonnell backed out of his campaign promise to privatize the state run liquor stores he seems to be trying harder to solve some of the other nagging state budget problems in Virginia.

Posted by: JBinVA1 | January 14, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Since McDonnell backed out of his campaign promise to privatize the state run liquor stores he seems to be trying harder to solve some of the other nagging state budget problems in Virginia."

That was a stupid promise in the first place. Of all the problems we have here, where we buy our liquor isn't even in the top 2000.

And while Democrats may "always want to raise taxes" the Republican's in Virginia won't raise taxes..but they raise/tack fees onto things enabling them to basically raise taxes without technically raising taxes. Whatever you call it the end result is the same.

Posted by: onlytheshadowknows1 | January 14, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

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