Monday, January 14, 2013

Gov. McDonnell’s Transportation Plan Doubles Down on Flawed Dulles Model

Hamilton, VA—January 10, 2013

Gov. McDonnell’s transportation funding plan raises several concerns for Virginia citizens. In his plan, the Governor proposes abolishing the current gas tax and substituting a 16% sales tax increase to generate revenue for transportation funding. Released last week, the plan makes it clear he intends to approach transportation funding in the Commonwealth by employing flawed methods as used on the Dulles Metro extension. urges the Governor to reconsider his plan, and asks the General Assembly to reject any similar plan put before them.

Both the toll-based Silver Line funding and sales tax-based transportation funding which the Governor proposes would make people statewide pay for the Silver Line, regardless of whether they use it or not. The Governor also proposes funding the MWAA-controlled rail project which intends to fund 75% of Phase 2 costs with enormous toll increases, also paid by non-users. Compounding this inequity, Silver Line users will pay $0 toward the massive cost of construction.

Likewise, the Governor’s proposed $15 increase in annual vehicle registration fees would penalize people who own cars in distant parts of Virginia by forcing them to subsidize the Silver Line. Such a funding mechanism expands the plight of the DTR users to include everyone in the Commonwealth who owns a car.

In these especially challenging economic times, cost cutting is the best way to free up and prioritize funding for transportation. We urge the Governor to propose across the board budget cuts including dropping the $300 million grant to MWAA he earmarked in his plan. also urges the Governor to retake control of the Dulles Toll Road and the Silver Line construction which would enable Virginia to reduce financing costs of the project by several billion dollars. Under MWAA’s mismanagement, the costs of the Silver Line have soared, delays are the norm, and Silver Line construction is financed at double the interest rates available to the Commonwealth of Virginia. reminds Governor McDonnell that his plan will allow tolls to increase and that taxing commerce will reduce commerce. The proposed plan violates free-market principles, is highly inefficient, and will bring unintended consequences. Virginia will not benefit if these mistakes are taken statewide because bad policy expanded is bad policy still.


Contact: No Toll Increase

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