GOP Governor’s Plan To Pay For Roads By Taxing The Poor Advances

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has been stumping for his new transportation plan, which would eliminate the state’s gas tax and instead fund transportation via an expanded sales tax. The plan would shift the cost of transportation funding away from those who use the system and onto Virginia’s poorest residents. But so far, it has encountered little resistance:

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s controversial transportation bill passed the House of Delegates Finance Committee on Wednesday, moving past its first hurdle in the state’s 2013 General Assembly session.

In a 14–8 vote along party lines, the committee passed McDonnell’s package, which calls for eliminating the state’s 17.5 cents per gallon gas tax and raising the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent.

McDonnell’s plan would wallop the poor, while letting the richest Virginian’s (not to mention any out of state drivers passing through) off largely scot-free, as this chart shows:


“Eliminating the gas tax paid by highway users and raising taxes on all other Virginians to pave our roads makes no sense,” said State Sen. Chap Petersen (D). “Indeed, eliminating our traditional road funding because cars are more efficient makes about as much sense as canceling your child’s college fund because tuition keeps rising.”