Senate vote passes $880 million highway reform

By BOB LEWIS AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Senate has passed the first long-term reform to the state’s floundering 27-year-old system for funding repairs and upkeep of its 58,000-mile network of highways.

The 25-15 vote sends to Gov. Bob McDonnell what could be the defining policy legacy in the fourth and final year of the single, non-renewable term Virginia allows its governors.

How they voted

George Barker, D-Fairfax County; Chuck Colgan, D-Prince William; Barbara Favola, D-Arlington; Mark Herring, D-Loudoun; Janet Howell, D-Fairfax County; David Marsden, D-Fairfax; Linda T. Puller, D-Fairfax and Dick Saslaw, D-Alexandria.

Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria; Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City; Dick Black, R-Loudoun; Richard Stuart, R-Stafford and Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier.

It would replace Virginia’s 17 1/2 cents-per-gallon retail gasoline tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline and a 6 percent levy on diesel fuel.

It boosts Northern Virginia sales taxes from 5 percent to 6 percent, allowing localities to keep some of the increase for local transportation needs.

It increases the titling tax on car sales and adds a $100 registration fee for fuel-sipping hybrid vehicles.

It also rules out proposed tolls on Interstate 95 south of Petersburg.

The House of Delegates approved the measure Friday.

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