Archived Story

Increasing sale tax opposed

Published 10:46am Friday, January 11, 2013

Trying to address the problem of Virginia’s long-standing transportation budget shortfalls is no easy task.

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday proposed eliminating the 17.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax. If approved, Virginia would be the first to do so.

McDonnell’s suggestion to make up the money by hiking the state sales taxes from 5 percent to 5.8 percent is not the answer.

Increasing the sales tax would provide more than $600 million more than the current gas tax. Under McDonnell’s plan, 85 percent of the increased sales tax would go to the Highway Maintenance and Operations Fund and 15 percent would go to the Transportation Trust Fund.

Virginia hasn’t raised the gas tax since 1986. Maybe lawmakers should look there first. The tax rate has not been adjusted to keep up with inflation, which is crazy.

Maybe Virginia should look into a one-cent sales tax for roads, which was done in Horry County, S.C., the home of Myrtle Beach. Implemented in May 2007, the tax brought in an additional penny on all retail sales, accommodations and prepared food and beverage. The county is slated to receive $425 million during the seven-year life of the tax program.

The one-cent tax may be an option for Virginia.

  • acasteen

    IW Board of Supervisors voted last night to oppose a 1 percent sales tax increase that would apply only in Hampton Roads.

    Suggest Removal

  • Makalani

    RE: “Virginia hasn’t raised the gas tax since 1986.”
    What seems like the simplest solution to simple-minded taxpayers can get very complicated — real quick with smart politicians. Especially if they have future political aspirations!

    I don’t think we have seen the end of Gov. McDonnell’s political ambitions once his term expires. Like many politicians fearing Grover Norquist — he doesn’t want a gas tax increase in his resume. Ergo this cockamamie — switcheroo sales tax scheme.

    Raising the gas tax makes those who use the roads pay — including millions of out-of-state motorists who gas up in VA. It’s unfair and ludicrous to give out-of-state motorists a tax break and shift the bulk of the burden of road building/maintenance into the pocketbooks of VA residents with a sales tax increase.

    Hopefully — opposition on both sides of the political aisle can checkmate Gov McDonnell’s plan to bamboozle VA taxpayers!

    Suggest Removal

    • employee2

      They already get a break on gas.Have you ever been to the “Duck-thru” on 258? There are a majority of cars from NC buying gas there because the price is cheaper in VA due to the lower gas tax. Buying gas is not all that out-of-state motorists buy. Taxing others on what they do not use is not always the case. I pay real-estate tax that goes toward schools, but I have no kids.

      Suggest Removal

  • happycamper

    Before I can comment, I need help in understanding this article! The headline says “Increasing Sales Tax Opposed”, yet the recommendation in the article is to raise the sales tax. Huh?

    Are you saying to leave the gas tax where it is an, in addition, raise the sales tax 1% … from 5% to 6%?

    Actually, I think the sales tax idea is a good one … with ONE VERY IMPORTANT CAVEAT!!! The law that raises the tax from 5% to 6% needs to be AIRTIGHT on the fact that (a) all additional funds raised will be used to make necessary road repairs and for transportation project, and
    (b) the tax will END at some specific point in time. Not just end for transportation, but the sales tax will, in fact, be REDUCED back to 5% at that specific point in time.

    If we don’t do it that way, the sales tax will go to every pork project dreamed up in the General Assembly, and it will be a 6% forever.

    Suggest Removal

  • johnhenry

    I agree 100% with the governor except the amount raised with the tax should be revenue neutral.

    Suggest Removal

  • employee2

    It seems that no matter what the proposed solution is, people only like it if it doesn’t affect their lives/wallet.

    Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks