Monday, February 25, 2013

General Assembly Passes Transportation Legislation

Major changes to how Virginia funds transportation projects passed during the General Assembly's last day of the 2013 regular session.  The bill passed with a 25-15 vote in the Senate and a 60-40 vote in the House.

The new transportation plan is expected to provide $880 million in additional funds into transportation each year by 2018.  The bill also replaces the 17.5 cent-per-gallon gas tax with a 3.5% wholesale tax on gas and 6% wholesale tax on diesel.  Registration fees for electric and alternative fuel vehicles will increase from $50 to $100.

The legislation also raises the state sales tax on nonfood purchases from 5% to 5.3%, with the three-tenths of a percentage point dedicated to transportation funding.  Additionally, $200 million from the general fund revenue would be dedicated to transportation each year.

Passenger rail, like Amtrak's Northeast Regional, also benefits from the plan as it creates a dedicated funding source. 

Click here to read Governor Bob McDonnell's statement regarding the passage of this legislation:  http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=1693