Editorial: Build a bridge

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:27 am

A Senate subcommittee on Tuesday advanced a transportation funding measure that relies on increasing taxes on gasoline at the pump and in the barrel.  The legislation would also give localities the option of raising sales tax levies to fund projects in their fair city, town or county.

We hope our readers haven’t tired of our protests against increasing the gasoline tax. If you have, skip on to the next editorial.
Funding transportation is a core responsibility of our state government. This legislation shifts that responsibility to localities and to everyone who fills up at the pump with Virginia’s overpriced petroleum.

Legislation passed in the House and marauded in the Senate would have used the state sales tax to generate road revenue. In effect, all purchases statewide would have helped pay for the roads and bridges you drive on to reach the store.  An understandable argument was one that claimed the proposal to increase the state’s current sales tax contribution was robbing Peter to pay Paul by taking monies away from other core government functions.

Perhaps this makes the case that legislators need to realize roads need their own independent, dependable funding stream, one that doesn’t rely on increasingly efficient gas tanks or taking funds away from other programs.

The General Assembly still has the chance to bridge their two proposals. Hopefully, their commitment to funding transportation can start by building that one bridge.

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