- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:34
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:34
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Del. Margaret Ransone says new Virginia legislation which went into effect this week as part of an effort to fix state transportation needs is a compromise plan that is not the right solution for the problem.
The legislation cuts the state gas tax and increases the state sales tax, along with other taxes and fees, as a way of increasing Virginia’s transportation funding.
Ransone, a resident of Kinsale who represents the 99th district, which includes King George and Westmoreland counties, voted against the bill which was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
“Building and maintaining our transportation infrastructure is a core governmental function, and there’s a clear need for devoting additional resources to transportation in the Commonwealth,” Ransone said.
“The problem is real,” Ransone said. She said however, the compromise plan enacted by the General Assembly was “not the solution.” Ransone said the new law relies on a complex set of tax hikes—a sales tax increase, higher car titling taxes, hotel taxes in some areas and increased taxes on diesel fuel.
Ransone said these changes will hurt the middle class and all Virginians. “Virginians understand that we need to pay for roads, but they expect some assurances,” Ransone said.
“Taxpayers also expect— and quite reasonably so—that behind any transportation funding scheme lies a well-developed, cost-effective plan for eliminating congestion, and that we’re not unduly burdening taxpayers or driving jobs out of the Commonwealth,” Ransone said.
“I did oppose the transportation legislation, but Virginians cannot dispute our major statewide transportation problem,” Ransone said. “The maintenance fund used to pay for paving roads is running out of money and by 2016 the shortfall will reach $500 million. Virginia would not be able to maintain their highways much less address new construction needs.”
“I opposed this transportation plan because of the complex fees and tax increases. There are many new taxes for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads that address the needs of their major construction areas,” Ransone said.
“I am in favor of more private partnerships and contracts with private businesses to address the transportation needs and addressing other areas within the state that could possibly be cut,” Ransone said.
“While I didn’t agree with this plan, I continue to applaud the courage of this legislature to address transportation. It has not been put on the table for discussion in 27 years,” Ransone said. “As always I look forward to hearing from constituents on the issue and how the plan may impact or not impact their family budget.”