A Virginia House panel voted Monday, July 24, to lift its
deadline for acting on four Senate bills that deal with transportation revenue.
The House Finance Committee previously tabled the measures
until Aug. 1. The bills would have died next week had the panel not rescinded
Lawmakers plan to return to the capitol after Labor Day to
try and hammer out a fix for transportation. The issue of how to raise money
for roads, rail and mass transit went unresolved through this year’s regular
session and subsequent budget negotiations.
Delegate Harry “Bob” Purkey, R-Virginia Beach, and chairman of the Finance Committee, urged his counterparts who want to submit new
road bills to do so by Sept. 1, The Associated Press reported.
The Senate bills include an effort to increase taxes and
fees to raise nearly $750 million a year for transportation projects statewide.
Another provision in the bill would impose a 6-cent-per-gallon tax on fuel
distribution terminals, which could be passed along to consumers.
The other bills would allow regional authorities in northern
Virginia, Hampton Roads and along part of the Interstate 81 corridor to
generate additional revenue for roads and transit, The AP reported.
Tolls and higher taxes are listed among the possibilities to boost revenues.
Both chambers are led by Republicans who differ sharply on
whether new taxes are necessary to pay for transportation work. House lawmakers
are opposed to new taxes while the Senate and Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine favor