Va. lawmakers make deal on transportation funding

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Associated Press

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 7:01 PM

RICHMOND (AP) -- Legislative negotiators have reached a transportation funding reform compromise that could get full House and Senate votes by week's end.

If the General Assembly can pass an accord by its scheduled adjournment Saturday, it would be the first comprehensive overhaul of the way Virginia pays for its highway system the legislature has approved since 1986.

The 10 conferees signed an agreement Wednesday morning.

Gaining support among the negotiators -- five delegates and five senators -- is a plan that would replace Virginia's 17 1/2 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale gasoline tax, boost sales taxes from 5 percent to 5.3 percent, levy a $100 fee on hybrid cars and shift about $200 million a year in sales taxes to highway use in five years.

"Our roads are an embarrassment right now," said State Sen. Ralph Northam. "Hopefully we can get out of here with what I call a bold transportation plan."

 

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