Your Uber expenses may go up in Virginia / VA considering gas tax hike


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Virginia considers gas tax hike to cover growing transportation needs

With huge demands for transportation improvements across Virginia, the state could raise gas taxes next year, Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine suggested Monday.

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration plans to include transportation funding initiatives in his agenda in the General Assembly session starting in January, including some type of new revenues, and restoring funding shifted to Metro from local governments in Northern Virginia, Valentine said.

“Yes, and yes,” Valentine told State Sen. Adam Ebbin on Monday at an event in Springfield for Northern Virginia local and state elected officials.
Without a change to increase the gas tax or other funding sources, and to lock in future increases with a link to general inflation or construction cost inflation, the state projects a drop in funding available for road construction and other projects.

“Virginia’s transportation [funding] system is simply not sustainable the way we are going,” Valentine said.
The decline in projected revenue is based on increases in driving, but also in fuel efficiency.

That means the state will likely need a decade-long funding bridge from something like a gas tax increase in order to get to a longer-term future that might rely on tolls or other fees specifically tied to the number of miles someone drives or the types of roads they use, Valentine said.

Final recommendations from Valentine’s office to the governor and general assembly are expected to be finalized following an internal meeting later this week.
“We have spent a year actually looking at a … comprehensive list of options that could be available to us, and what we really want to do is focus on what would be the most effective and the most sustainable going forward,” Valentine said.

The gas tax in Northern Virginia is currently around 22 cents, the 12th lowest of any state.
“And in this bridge period that we’re in, most states are coming back to raising the gas tax an amount that could carry us over this bridge, and they are indexing it to something that’s growing,” Valentine said.
Some in the working group considering the recommendations for the governor would prefer to tie the gas tax to national highway construction costs, as Alabama did recently.

The increased funding from any new taxes or other financial shifts are expected to be part of a broader transportation funding proposal from the Northam administration that would also address a top priority for all local governments in Northern Virginia: restoring the approximately $100 million the state took from the region in 2018 to pay its share of Metro costs.
Local governments have blamed those cuts from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for the cancellation or slowing of a number of major construction projects.

While there were efforts to restore the funding before, the proposal is expected to have better odds in this winter’s General Assembly session, since Democrats have taken control of both chambers and Northern Virginia will have increased sway.

Any transportation funding plan could also include increased support for major projects beyond road funding, including an additional state commitment to the Long Bridge rail expansion between Arlington and D.C. allowing for a dramatic increase in the number of Amtrak and VRE trains.
“I think there’s going to be some challenging discussions and decisions and perhaps how we look at our multimodal platform,” Valentine said.

The needs across rail, other transit, roads, the port and even the spaceport at Wallops Island mean there may also be a need to diversify funding sources so a single variable does not decimate a particular type of transportation, Valentine said.
VMT fee could be the long-term future.
While more widespread adoption of charges to all drivers based on the amount of driving they do is likely at least a decade away, some states are already moving toward the vehicle miles traveled or mileage-based user fees.
“We really want to do this in a very deliberate way,” Valentine said.
Virginia is part of the 95 Corridor Coalition that is examining how such a system could work on the east coast.
“The consensus seems to be that over the next 10-15 years, there will most likely be a different way of raising major transportation revenues, whether it’s from a mileage based user fee, vehicle miles traveled, there will be some different form. That is a longer term perspective,” Valentine said.


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VA already raised the gas tax in counties that adjoin I-81 back in July. It was only a matter of time until they focused on I-95, along with Northern VA where all the money is.


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Not to mention these asswipes just spent the last year working on 395 and charging more tolls on it.

Used to be that you could use the HOV lanes between the D.C. line and just south of Landmark Mall at no charge.

Now the greedy @@@@ers are charging from the VA line on down.

There's a ramp by the Pentagon (left exit) that you used to be able to hop on the HOV lanes and go into the city. The HOV lanes helped alleviate congestion because people would use those and the main lanes and spread out traffic.

Now when it's busy it can take 20-25 minutes to get into D.C. when it should take 5-7 minutes at the most. I've seen it over $4.

Like we don't pay enough for the roads as it is?


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It’s a travesty that existing free HOV lanes are being converted to full-time HOT lanes. It’s no wonder Northern Virginia has become the new People’s Republic of East California.

I have no problem with making lanes HOV-2 or HOV-3 to put more asses into fewer vehicles. Reduce congestion and all that tripe.

What I have a major problem with is letting someone pay to get out of traffic. HOT lanes are a cash-grab by the state (and the companies that administer the collection of tolls), nothing more and nothing less.

The 66 and 495 tolls can hit $30-$40. If someone makes $25/hour, they'll be working over an hour for that toll.

The ambulance-chasing lawyer that charges $300/hour can easily afford it, and probably bills the client for the toll to begin with.

Not trying to sound like Bernie or our resident Commie Pinko @UberPotomac but that doesn't seem fair.

We already pay enough in gas tax, car tax etc.

The assclowns in Richmond also want to do a bag tax copying Montgomery County and D.C.

If they just taxed plastic bags because they don't biodegrade fine. Tagging the paper bags is another cash grab.

Rant over. Now you kids get off my goddamn lawn.



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Not to mention these asswipes just spent the last year working on 395 and charging more tolls on it.
Like you, I'm very much opposed to Lexus lanes.

I want to find out more details about it, by but all appearences the entire 395 project is a giant slush fund, spreading huge sums of money to all sorts of lucrative pet projects and putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of various contractors and their govt benefactors.

One of the expensive boondoggles funded by the slush fund is the ugly Great Sound Wall of Rt. 395, which costs around $2 million per mile to put up.

VDOT has long been overdue for a stem to stern forensic accounting examination.
Not trying to sound like Bernie or our resident Commie Pinko @UberPotomac but that doesn't seem fair.
These expensive road project boondoggles are proof positive that bipartisinship isn't always a good thing. The lure of huge piles of money to dole out attracts pols from both the left and the right. Libertarian ideologues who despise ANYTHING that appears in any way to be social spending also love Lexus Lanes.


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Vote Blue...this is what you get....more taxes on everyone. These idiots forced cars to have better fuel mileage and now are saying lower fuel usage by cars is creating a budget short fall because drivers aren't paying enough in fuel taxes. Rich people will just plop down $50k for a Tesla....the poor will carry the burden of this tax hike...again.

They will never have enough of your money...they will lie cheat and steal to get more of it.

And yes I love "Lexus lanes". If I use something I expect to pay for it in contrast to the alternative....using something and expect everyone else to pay for it. The Blue contagion will spread and strangle every community where they are welcomed. Socialist/Communists are parasites. Fleeing their own policies that have ruined once prosperous jurisdictions to rape the rest of us with their "compassion".


I sold my house in Loudoun County in 2018 and the county charged me $1,200 for ROAD improvement tax. What does a sale of house have to do with ROADS??!!!!!


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And yes I love "Lexus lanes". If I use something I expect to pay for it in contrast to the alternative....using something and expect everyone else to pay for it
EVERYONE uses the roads and everyone shares in the benefits of the use of the roads whether they drive or not.

Lexus lanes are one of those bad ideas that demonstrate bipartinsanship isn't always a good thing.

Many left-wingers who normally are opposed to privatizing govt functions have no problem with handing over control of major parts of our infrastructure to private for-profit entities, even foreign ones such as Transurban who operate several Lexus lanes. The reason is lefties are often hostile to the idea of people using polluting cars instead of public transit.

Many right-wingers/libertarians support Lexus lanes because they have a knee-jerk hostile reaction to anything they perceive that even hints at being a "handout". Your "socialist/communists parasites" comments are an example of this.

And many pols on both the left and right are attracted to all of the MONEY these projects bring with them.

One of your RED pols, the esteemed Gov McDonnell advocated giving more money to wasteful and corrupt VDOT to do more road "projects".