Virginia candidate for governor details road plan

| 5/4/2005

A Republican candidate for Virginia’s governor’s seat said voters should get to decide whether to pay higher taxes to build roads.

With voter approval, gubernatorial-hopeful Jerry Kilgore told local media he would set up regional authorities that could raise local sales taxes or income taxes. The group also would have the power to borrow money, control tolls and sell assets.

The regional groups would be made up of representatives from local governments and the General Assembly, as well as residents.

Kilgore said he still opposes raising the state’s fuel tax to pay for transportation. With fuel prices at or near record highs, he said an increase in the tax rate would create too much hardship.

Kilgore gave his support for the following solutions:

  • Dedicate a portion of the state’s general fund to support road building;

  • Pass a constitutional amendment preventing lawmakers from raiding transportation funds to pay for other spending;

  • Crackdown on the worst of the worst drivers with hefty fines; and

  • Expand road-building partnerships between the state and private companies.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Kane, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, has not released a transportation plan, The Virginian-Pilot reported.