RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) - Governor Bob McDonnell announced his amendments to the landmark transportation bill Tuesday.
The bill shows a significant shift in transportation funding, from a gas tax based to a sales tax based system.
The governor proposed to eliminate the gas tax altogether, but the General Assembly instead proposed a 35 percent decrease, which the governor approved.
The sales tax will rise from 5 percent to 5.3 percent.
Here in Hampton Roads, drivers can expect to see I-64 widened between Newport News and Williamsburg, a project that has long been delayed.
The governor also said local road repairs, such as potholes and paving, will no longer be funded with money set aside for new projects. The cost of those repairs rose to $400 million annually, according to a release.
The bill also include s additional funding for the Commonwealth's most congested areas in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli raised a legality issue with the way t hose funds would be raised.
Cuccinelli argued it is unconstitutional for the stat e to impose taxes on all the localities, because that power is reserved for the localities.
In Gov. McDonnell's amendments , he changed the wording to say the state can tax any Planning District Commission that meets a certain criteria of congestion, based on empirical data, such as population and number of vehicles registered.
Though not named, the only localities that meet the criteria for this type of taxation are Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.
A spokesperson for the attorney general told WAVY.com Tuesday that Cuccinnelli is satisfied with the amendment and its constitutionality.
Other amendments include the vehicle title tax increase, which the governor reduced from 4.3 percent to 4.15 percent, in an effort to put less of a burden on auto sales.
The governor also proposed to reduce the alternative fuel vehicle annual fee from $100 to $64. The governor says it was more reasonable to have a higher fee when the gas tax was higher. He argues lower fees should be reflected for hybrid vehicles, as well.
For real estate transactions, the governor am ended the congestion relief fee to reflect a 10-cent reduction for every $100, bringing the total down to $ 0.15/$100. The state goal for the fee is to raise $30 million. The governor says corrected data shows the $30 million could be raise by a lower tax rate, which is the reason for the reduction.
The General Assembly will reconvene April 3 to consider the Governor's amendments.
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