Saturday, January 10, 2009

Will Lawmakers Change Gasoline Tax?

According to today's Winchester Star, Del. Clifford L. “Clay” Athey Jr., R-Front Royal, said Friday that House Republicans will submit legislation for different method of collecting taxes on gasoline, and that additional money will also go toward road improvements. Athey said the GOP’s plan would change the way the state taxes gasoline — from a per-gallon fee to a somewhat sales tax-specific fee.

Virginia’s gasoline tax is 17 1/2 cents per gallon.

Del. Joe T. May, R-Loudoun County, is the chairman of the House’s Committee on Transportation. The paper reported that he said transportation and education combine to account for about 60 percent of Virginia’s budget, emphasizing the importance of the issue for the state. “We will need to minimize the damage,” he said. “I think that this downturn will last for a while. We’ll just have to wait until things get better. Next year will be a very, very down year. I expect us to start climbing out of this in 2010.”

Virginia, according to estimates from the governor’s office, may face a shortfall of about $3 billion for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

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