To help the state cover a $1.5 billion shortfall during the
next six years for transportation, Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner is touting
numerous revenue generators as part of her fiscal 2008 capital budget.
Among the proposals being touted by the governor is doubling
tolls along state Route 1. Other ideas include higher fuel taxes, boosting
vehicle titling and registration fees as well as leasing Interstate 95.
The tax and fee increases would bring in about $80 million a
year for the Transportation Trust Fund, the Delaware
State News reported.
If approved, the per-gallon tax on gas and diesel would increase
5 cents. Vehicle registration would increase $30 while titling fees would rise
1.75 percent during the next two years.
To help the state emerge from the shortfall, Minner told the
State News the state also is "keeping
an open mind" about leasing a state-owned toll road to private investors. In
addition to leasing I-95, budget officials said state Route 1 and U.S. 301
Rep. Robert Gilligan, D-Wilmington, has introduced a bill -
HB50 - that contains the tax and fee hikes.
Opponents have honed in on the call for higher fuel taxes
and labeled the effort as "simply cruel."
"The fluctuations in price are hard enough on people, but
raising a fixed cost is hard," Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Fairthorne, told The News Journal.
Minner said she knows that no one wants higher taxes and
fees, but she said residents will support them if they are used solely for road