Republican Governor McDonnell’s “Road to the Future” gets one thing right: it begins to prioritize transportation costs as a core government expenditure. Unfortunately, it does so by raising the net taxes paid by Virginians to fund new projects.
Americans for Tax Reform designed an infographic illustration of the plan, which can be seen at www.atr.org/therealroad.
Although the plan eliminates the state gas tax, it overcompensates with new revenue generated by a 16 percent increase in the state sales tax, a $15 annual vehicle registration “fee” hike, a $100 alternative vehicle registration “fee” hike, and pre-emptively opts Virginia into a national internet tax scheme. It is a far cry from a fiscally conservative approach to state spending.
As it stands now, the plan is a violation of the Pledge to Virginians many state legislators took to oppose any and all taxes.
“In a state controlled by Republicans, this is the absolute wrong approach on a path to sustainable transportation spending. When legislators demand higher taxes in exchange for prioritizing transportation costs, they are demonstrating that transportation is their lowest budget priority,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.
“Virginians have rejected this kind of approach before. When voters were asked in 2002 whether they thought that transportation should be paid for with existing state revenue or with higher taxes, they overwhelming rejected Gov. Warner’s call for higher taxes. Virginia does not have a revenue problem. It has a problem prioritizing spending.”