General Assembly Update
February 12, 2013
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE PASSES TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BILL
This morning the Senate Finance Committee passed an amended version (offered by Senator Wagner) of the Governor’s transportation funding bill that had come over from the House HB 2313.
The Senate version of the bill has both a statewide and regional/local component as set forth below.
· Increases the motor fuel excise tax of 17.5 cents per gallon (gas and diesel) by 5 cents to 22.5 cents per gallon and indexes the tax rate to the Producer Price Index for nonresidential construction.
· Imposes a statewide 1 percent sales tax on wholesale motor fuels (gas and diesel).
o Proceeds to be deposited to the jurisdictional accounts maintained by VDOT and used for local or regional construction projects.
· Dedicates sales and use tax revenues from the passage of the Marketplace Equity Act to transportation, with the exception of 1 ¼ percent which is dedicated to education.
o If the Marketplace Equity Act is not enacted by July 1, 2014, the statewide motor fuel sales tax rate will be increased by 1%.
· Increases by .05 percent (from .50 to .55 percent) the current sales and use tax proceeds dedicated to transportation.
o Proceeds dedicated to statewide rail and transit programs.
· Increases motor vehicle registration and weight based fees by approximately $15.
o Proceeds are dedicated to statewide rail and transit programs.
· Prohibits tolling on existing interstate, except existing HOT and HOV lanes, without approval by the General Assembly.
· Authorizes a statewide local option sales tax of up to 1.0 percent dedicated to local transportation priorities.
o Requires approval by local governing body.
o Regional funding can be used for local road, rail or transit projects.
o Local money can be used for toll abatement.
· Require half of the local option tax from Marketplace Equity Act to be used for transportation.
The funding estimates for the bill, if enacted can be found here: Funding Estimates
The vote on the bill was 9-6.
Voting for the bill were Senators Stosch, Colgan, Howell, Saslaw, Watkins, Marsh, Lucas, Ruff, and Wagner.
Voting against the bill were Senators Norment, Hanger, Newman, McDougle, Vogel and Carrico.
It was particularly disappointing to see Senators Norment and Hanger vote against the bill.
Please reach out to the members of the Committee, letting the supporters know you appreciate their vote, and let the opponents know that you were disappointed in their failure to support a much needed bill. Contact information can be found at: Senate Finance Committee