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November 20, 2012

Comments

Evan

That's the thing that's so maddening about how the state does its accounting.

In our lives, if we skip out on bills, borrow a ton of money, and fail to maintain our property, but we have a few dollars in our checking account we don't call that surplus. The state does.

Chris

I didn't even mention the fact that McDonnell balanced the budget by borrowing against the state's pension, if I'm not mistaken.

Ryan Stugemann

If Bob McDonnell says its the only way, then its the only way.

Fellow Patriots

Chris,

#1) The gas tax is not regressive. If the gas tax was increased by ten cents then in a year the average driver would pay an additional $9.40. Not a giant chunk of change;

#2) Virginia will be out of transportation funding by 2017. As it stands right now, we will have to return federal funds we receive because we won't be able to match that money with state funds;

#3) Northern Virginia alone will need an additional $40 billion in infrastructure spending in the next forty years to keep the current level of congestion;

#4) We have had sequential surpluses. However, that money is a "drop in the bucket" when you talk about funding transportation and a lot of those resources went to replenishing the Rainy Day Fund and creating a fund to provide a cushion should VA's budget get hit with sequestration cuts.

Furthermore, if the gas tax is so horrible, why is VA #1 in business nationwide with a 17 cent gas tax?

The state pension was used to fill a half billion hole present in the budget of his predecessor. That money is being paid back ahead of schedule.

Chris

I remember when Chap Petersen suggested raising the gas tax a few years back, Republicans were unified in opposition. Just because its one of ours contemplating it doesn't mean it is still a good idea.

We have created layers and layers of unelected boards and authorities to deal with this issue because the Assembly doesn't want to. Raising the gas tax changes exactly nothing. If it raises so little, then why even bother because it won't work anyways. We have structural problems both in government and in the way the dollars are distributed that won't change by raising the gas tax. It would just mean more revenue the state would spend on other things, like they always do. With Obamacare looming and the ever growing entitlements of Medicare and Medicaid, the fund will just keep getting raided.

Its useless, raising the gas tax. Especially if McDonnell won't do anything about the real structural problems of transportation.

Mosby's Raider

No one disagrees that any revenue should be put into a dedicated fund to ensure it is used for transportation. That said, I don't understand how the "unelected boards" has anything to do with funding transportation.

Regarding Medicare and Medicaid, the state has little to do with Medicare funding and most folks agree that the state won't expand Medicaid eligibility so I don't see how that is relevant.

If you think transportation funding isn't a major issue then your the only one in Northern Virginia. Everyone sees the need for a change.

Scout

The gas tax is essentially a user fee that increases with use of the highway system. Nothing wrong with that. The idea that infrastructure can be built for nothing is an odd one. If those who do not favor an increase in the gas tax have a better idea, let's hear it. How many miles of new roads do people think we could build with the Redskins money?

Stephen Spiker

Chris, his point wasn't that it "raises so little", it was that the impact on the individual driver is little.

This tax increase would be most felt by shipping and vehicle fleets. In other words, people would pay to use a service proportional to the amount they use it.

It's okay to be opposed to the gas tax increase. You just can't be opposed to the increase and complain about a lack of transportation funding at the same time.

Chris

I've been around long enough to know that any extra revenue that would be raise would not solve anything. We are all assuming that this money would go to road construction and maintenance. I doubt it, as we have seen time after time the "trust fund" raided over and over by Republicans and Democrats alike.

I did see a suggestion somewhere that maybe if we finally get rid of Car Tax perhaps some sort of "indexing for inflation" can be swallowed. The fact of the matter so matter what the state does, until we starting funding transportation based on traffic rather than miles Northern Virginia won't ever get what we need in terms of money. All we will get is more cost at the pump in another quest for another governor to solidify their legacy.

Stephen Spiker

It's fair to be distrustful of how the money is spent. I, too, oppose any increase of the gas tax unless its for transportation projects.

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