Governor weighs in on approval of House transportation plan - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Governor weighs in on approval of House transportation plan

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A new study cites traffic congestion in northern Virginia and the D.C. region is the worst in the nation. The report has Governor Bob McDonnell calling on lawmakers to approve a transportation fix this year.

Tuesday, the House of Delegates approved a transportation plan that closely mirrors the Governor's.    

"There are solutions that will work that will solve the problem," McDonnell said.

The Governor praised House delegates who passed a bill making sweeping changes to how the state collects money for transportation. The legislation seeks to get rid of the gas tax and raise the sales tax.

"What would you say to those who say getting rid of the gas tax would tax the poor who don't drive but do pay sales tax?" we asked McDonnell.

"It's just the opposite….people in rural areas perhaps may have lower incomes, they actually drive more and pay proportionately less in sales tax, so for those individuals this will actually be a net savings to them," he replied.

But not everyone agrees with that idea.

"The gas tax was created as a user fee...if you don't use the roads, you don't pay the tax," political strategist Paul Goldman has said in the past.

The Texas Transportation Institute says congestion in northern Virginia and the D.C. area leads to 67 hours of delay per year for drivers, costing nearly $1400 per driver and wasting 32 gallons of gas.

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