Last week, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine unveiled the Commonwealth's transportation plan he will present to the legislature. This is what he says it will do, and how it would be financed:
- Cut the highway maintenance deficit.
- Increase local road construction funding and restore support for construction projects statewide.
- Invest in targeted projects to reduce traffic congestion in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, the state's two most congested regions.
- Create a Transportation Change Fund to increase investment in transit, rail, and innovations that would reduce traffic congestion. (He offers the example of expanding ridesharing.)
- Provide incentives for cities and towns to take responsibility for their road construction programs.
- Create incentives for localities to use their land more efficiently by providing dedicated funding for transportation improvements in urban development areas.
- Clarifies local government flexibility to use secondary and urban road funding for transit projects.
- Increase the statewide motor vehicles sales tax from 3 percent to 4 percent. Do it with a one-half percent increase in January 2009 and another half-percent percent in July 2009.
- Dedicate all motor vehicle sales tax funds to maintenance.
- Increase the statewide annual vehicle registration fee by $10 and dedicate that extra money to maintenance.
- Increase the retail sales tax in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads by 1 percent, except for food and medicine. In our region, the money would go to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
- Increase the statewide grantor's tax by 25 cents, and put the money into the Transportation Change Fund.
- Lock it up: Any of these tax increases would expire if used for any purpose other than transportation.