Virginia lawmaker eyes fuel tax hike for road dollars

| 12/22/2003

A Northern Virginia state lawmaker has proposed legislation calling for an increase in the state’s fuel tax by 6.5 cents a gallon.

State Delegate Harry Parrish, R-Manassas, said his proposal would raise about $312 million annually for transportation projects.

“It’s a drop in the bucket to what the needs are,” Parrish, chairman of the House Finance Committee, told the Daily Press. “But at the same time, you try to address these things piecemeal. Taking it up to what you need just wouldn’t be passable (in the Assembly).”

HB60 would raise the Virginia diesel fuel tax for trucks from 16 cents a gallon to 22.5 cents. Trucks under the International Registration Plan would pay 26 cents a gallon on diesel – up from 19.5 cents.

The gas tax would increase from 17.5 cents a gallon to 24 cents.

“Something has to be done or by 2007 we won’t have any money for new construction,” Parrish said. “By 2011 we won’t be able to pull down federal highway grants because we won’t have enough matching state money.”

The proposal will likely get serious consideration when the General Assembly convenes in January for a 60-day session.