VA Senate panel votes to increase gas tax for first time in deca - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

VA Senate panel votes to increase gas tax for first time in decades

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Have you seen the price of gas lately? The average price is $3.45 and that could go up even higher, if state lawmakers have their way.

A Senate committee voted Tuesday to increase the state gas tax for the first time in decades.

The vote comes as local drivers say the pain at the pump is back.

"It is ridiculous," said Darryl Hines. "Carpooling is priority. Me and my friend carpool like every day now."

A state Senate committee rewrote Gov. McDonnell's transportation funding reform bill. The proposal would restore and increase the gas tax, add a 1 percent fuel sales tax and allow localities to add another 1 percent tax to fuel.

It doesn't sound like much at first glance, but the proposed increase would amount to 5 to 11 cents a gallon more each year.

"If this passes this would be the first increase since 1986," said Michael O'Connor with the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association. "That's why it hasn't happened."

When we crunched the numbers with the team at the VPCGA we found the increase could cost even more when accounting for inflation, something to the tune of $120 dollars more a year.

The House is likely to reject the measure.

"Well I think its a work in progress," said O'Connor. "I think that everybody sees the promised land, but everybody is taking a different path to get there."

This was a Senate committee vote. It goes to the full Senate later in the week.

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