- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Manassas lawmaker plans rise in gas tax
Question of the Day
A key Republican lawmaker will propose increasing Virginia’s gasoline tax to help pay for transportation projects, but Democratic Gov. Mark Warner’s support for the increase is shaky.
Delegate Harry J. Parrish, Manassas Republican and chairman of the Finance Committee, is drafting a bill that would increase the state’s tax to 24 cents per gallon, up from its current 17.5 cents. The extra revenue — about $300 million — would go to the state’s transportation-construction fund.
“Transportation is one of the urgent needs of the commonwealth. Most of my constituents want something done for transportation. They are tired of spending three hours a day in their car,” Mr. Parrish said.
A motorist who fills a 15-gallon tank would pay 97.5 cents more with each fill-up under the Parrish proposal.
If the increase is approved, Virginia’s 24-cent gas tax would be slightly higher than Maryland’s and significantly higher than the District’s. Maryland’s gas tax, which hasn’t increased in a decade, is 23.5 cents per gallon; the District’s is 20 cents per gallon.
In addition to state taxes, the federal government adds a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon.
Virginia’s gas tax has remained unchanged for 17 years, said Steve Haner, chief lobbyist for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, which supports an increase to pay for highway, rail and port projects.
“A significant increase in the gas tax would go a long way, but we want to guarantee that money stays in transportation. … All this does is adjust for 17 years of inflation,” Mr. Haner said, adding that the chamber supports a tax increase of no less than 6 cents per gallon.
However, Mr. Warner did not include a gas-tax increase in the sweeping tax-reform plan he presented last month.
“The governor is keeping an open mind about different elements, but he asks that the legislature consider his plan in its entirety first,” said Warner spokeswoman Ellen Qualls.
The Warner plan calls for increasing the 2.5-cents-a-pack cigarette tax, the nation’s lowest, to 25 cents; and raising the 4.5 percent sales tax to 5.5 percent, which would produce about $1 billion in revenue each year. The governor’s plan would also increase the income tax to 6.25 percent from 5.7 percent for residents whose taxable income is more than $100,000 a year.
Mr. Warner said his plan, which he estimates would net about $600 million in revenue, would reduce taxes for 65 percent of Virginians as it phases out the car tax and decreases the 4 percent grocery-sales tax to 2.5 percent by 2005.
Some Republicans have begun accusing Mr. Warner of breaking a campaign pledge to not raise taxes.
In a speech to Republican loyalists in Tysons Corner on Saturday, former Gov. James S. Gilmore III criticized Mr. Warner’s proposal to increase the general sales tax, calling it “the single biggest tax increase in the history of Virginia.”
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq