Higher Portsmouth income tax proposed to fix roads

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by Eric Kane, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 4 at 9:21 AM

RICHMOND-- The Virginia General Assembly has entered its final month this session, and lawmakers continue to look for ways to solve transportation problems.

Most recently, a Senate bill would allow the city of Portsmouth to raise income taxes, with the extra money going to fixing decaying roadways.

“I don’t really have a problem with it,” said Ben Walence, who lives in the city. “I think there are plenty of roads around here that need fixing.”

If passed, Portsmouth would join 11 other localities in the Commonwealth that can have an income tax. But so far, no jurisdictions in Virginia have imposed them.

“I think that would be a wonderful idea,” said Lin Fillhart. “Trying to get around in this traffic with all the congestion and all of the backup is really rough.”

Other Portsmouth residents are skeptical the raised revenue would make a difference in road repairs.

“I personally don’t think it’s fair,” said Jim Wharton. “I can’t afford to keep taking money out of my paycheck. I don’t really see a difference in Portsmouth. I live in River Point and the roads are really bad, and I don’t see where they will take the money to put to them.”

The bill is headed to the full Senate for consideration.
 

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