West Virginia Legislature OKs extension of 'temporary' fuel tax

| Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Truckers and others fueling in West Virginia would continue to pay a nickel-per-gallon portion of the state's fuel tax, under a bill headed to the governor's desk. The tax was slated to expire this summer.

The state's per-gallon tax rate for diesel and gas now is 31.5 cents.

House and Senate lawmakers waited until the final day of the regular session to decide to keep the nickel component to the tax until 2013. The bill has been forwarded to Gov. Joe Manchin.

An analysis of the bill - HB2955 - indicates the nickel portion generates between $45 million and $55 million annually for roads ineligible for federal funds. The money is funneled to the State Road Fund, which is the main account for road work and repairs.

Supporters say escalating costs for highway construction and dwindling sources for traditional state road funds have contributed to the state being in a position where it needs as much as $290 million in new revenues each year to maintain and build roads, The Associated Press reported. It is a difficult problem to solve because the state cannot spend federal highway funding on three-fourths of its roads, they say.

 

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