I couldn’t agree more with Stewart Schwartz of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (see what he has to say below; bolding added by me for emphasis): “At a time when we are seeking to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to reduce fossil fuel consumption to fight climate change, the Governor’s proposal takes us in the wrong direction.”
No gas tax?”That’s right, no more gas tax at the pump. No sales tax at the pump either.” Governor Bob McDonnell
Experts are still dissecting the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the gas tax and use sales taxes to fund transportation, so some observations have to be preliminary at this stage. But one thing is clear, the Governor would eliminate all taxes on gasoline (while retaining it on diesel) andshift the burden of paying for our roads to all Virginians whether or not they own a car or drive.
At a time when we are seeking to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to reduce fossil fuel consumption to fight climate change, the Governor’s proposal takes us in the wrong direction. He would sendexactly the wrong market signal. By removing a user fee under which those who drive more, pay more for the upkeep of our roads, the proposal could increase the amount of driving and the congestion on our roadways. This is fitting for an administration that has focused almost entirely on highway capacity expansion, far too little on transit and transportation demand management, and not at all on supporting more efficient patterns of land use.
Northern Virginia officials, who understand the land use and transportation connection and the congestion problems our region faces, have been focused on expanding transit, on implementing compact, transit-oriented development, and on commuter services to encourage transit, carpooling and telecommuting. The Governor wishes to take us back to the 1950’s and an era of cheap oil and lots of driving.