Maryland is not the only state debating how to fund roadways in a difficult economy. As reported by the Virginia Statehouse News, Virginia’s legislature is also embroiled in a battle over whether to increase the gas tax this year.
Senate Bill 639, sponsored by state Sen. Frank Wagner, R–Virginia Beach, would index the gas tax annually to the U.S. Department of Labor’s producer price index for nonresidential construction.
It cleared the Senate on Tuesday, 26-14, but a similar proposal — House Bill 899, sponsored by Delegate David Albo, D-Fairfax — was rejected in committee.
“There are some on our side of the aisle who say, ‘Why are you going to force Virginians, solely Virginians, to fund a transportation system and let out-of-state people use it for free?’” said Delegate Jenn McClellan, D-Richmond, who supports raising the gas tax.
Democrats and Republicans acknowledge that repairing the state’s shoddy roads must be part of the final budget, but they disagree on how to do it.