Va. DOT chief touts replacement of gas tax with sales tax

Va. DOT chief touts replacement of gas tax with sales tax

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton spoke to a business group recently about the states success in lowering the gas tax and raising the sales tax to pay for much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Forty percent of jobs and economic activity in this state are tied to industries that have to rely on our transportation system, Connaughton told the Business Forum Luncheon, according to the Northern Virginia Daily. Those sectors are agriculture, mining, manufacturing and logistics.

The gas tax had not been raised in the Commonwealth since 1986 and was not meeting transportation needs, said Connaughton. The crude oil and asphalt used to construct roads have become more expensive, and vehicles have become more fuel-efficient. Virginia lowered its state gas tax by 6.5 percent and is now the second lowest in the nation after Alaska. Gas prices in the Commonwealth are now the countrys third to fifth lowest.

The transportation policy that includes the changes allocates $17.6 billion. Much of it will be used to upgrade Interstate 81.

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