We know it's Sunday morning, but this is important.
The General Assembly is under pressure from business to throw more money into transportation. But we say, not without reform! And not without a better bill.
- VDOT is wasting too much money on the wrong projects, like Route 460, the Coalfields Expressway, Charlottesville Bypass and the Outer Beltway. That's $5.5 BILLION in waste. There's still time to redeploy that money.
- Eliminating taxes on gasoline is bad economics & bad transportation policy. It will increase driving, reduce transit use, and increase congestion.
- The state sales tax should not be used for statewide transportation because it diverts funding needed for K-12 education, universities, healthcare, public safety, and conservation.
Call and/or email your Legislator today and again and again through Tuesday! They need your input on how to vote! >>
We are asking legislators for the following provisions. If they're not ultimately in the bill, then we recommend they vote NO.
- Include mandatory reevaluation of VDOT's megaprojects. We could save much of the $5.5 billion to use to address our real transportation needs.
- Reform the Public Private Transportation Act to ensure greater public oversight.
- Keep the gas tax. It is an appropriate user fee tying payments to use of Virginia's roads, and it ensures out of state drivers also contribute. Apply the sales tax to gas at the wholesale level and/or index the gas tax to inflation.
- Withdraw any increase in the statewide sales tax. A statewide increase will mean the state (i.e. VDOT) will just siphon the money from Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
- Allow a local sales tax for transportation in Northern Virginia that Northern Virginia controls and the same for Hampton Roads. Let us decide what to fix and build.
- Require 25% of the new funding to go to transit.
- Require 15% of the new funding to go to local roads. VDOT has zeroed out money for local roads in order to build rural highways. If we don't specify this, then we still won't get local street funds including pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
- Keep the $15 vehicle registration fee for intercity passenger rail and public transit funding.
If these solutions are not in the bills on the House and Senate floor by the end of the debate, then legislators should vote NO.
Thank you for your action!
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Photo by MSVG on Flickr
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