lawmaker says tax breaks for state truckers might be in order
if proposed truck tolls go into effect on Interstate 81. Trucking
officials last week also suggested extending the toll to cars.
Warner signed legislation authorizing the truck toll earlier
this month. The plan would include doubling the highway's width,
provide four truck-only lanes and cover half the cost with a
truck toll. The plan is being reviewed by the Commonwealth Transportation
Board and the Federal Highway Administration.
Griffith (R-Salem) brought up the possibility of tax breaks
for Virginia trucking companies last week during a road hearing.
Griffith, the House majority leader, said there's still time
for state officials to determine how to offset the tolls for
trucking companies that pay income taxes and property taxes
to the state.
contend they would alter their routes from I-81 to U.S. 29,
U.S. 11 and other toll-free roads if the toll is enacted. In
addition, trucking officials say local businesses would lose
ground against competitors who could avoid using the highway,
thus solving the roadway's current congestion problem and need
for more lanes.