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General Assembly Update

February 26, 2008

House committee rejects raising gas tax

Yesterday, the House Finance Committee rejected SB 713, that would have increased the gas tax would have increased the state’s 17.5 cents per gallon gas tax by a penny a year until it reached 22.5 cents, with new revenue going toward highway maintenance.

The Republican-controlled House Finance Committee voted 14-6 to “table” the bill, likely killing it for the year. But committee members acknowledged that they must come up with more money for maintenance, because of the repeal of the state’s “abusive driver” fees, and the impact of the economic downturn on transportation funding.

Senate Bill 713 was introduced by Senator Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) the new Senate Majority leader.  The bill had passed the Senate by a vote of 25-15.

There is still a gas tax increase in the Senate proposed budget and will be the subject of negotiation as the budget conferees begin deliberations this week.