From the office of Gov. Kaine: “Governor Timothy M. Kaine today stood with members of the House and Senate and released his proposed transportation legislation to be considered during the upcoming special session of the General Assembly. The Governors legislation will provide much-needed funding for our growing highway maintenance needs; fund congestion relief in Northern […]
From the office of Gov. Kaine: “Governor Timothy M. Kaine today stood with members of the House and Senate and released his proposed transportation legislation to be considered during the upcoming special session of the General Assembly. The Governors legislation will provide much-needed funding for our growing highway maintenance needs; fund congestion relief in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads; and invest in more innovative, energy-efficient transportation solutions.”
Since January of 2006, I have worked closely with the General Assembly to improve the coordination of transportation and land use, to provide needed funding and budget reforms to how we spend transportation dollars, and to improve accountability and efficiency at VDOT and the other transportation agencies, Governor Kaine said. The legislation I am introducing will continue those reforms and provide funding to sustain and improve Virginias critical transportation infrastructure.
The Governor was joined at the announcement by Delegate Ward Armstrong, who will patron the bill in the House, Senator Charles Colgan, and other members of the House and Senate.
In May the governor presented his proposal for a comprehensive statewide solution to Virginia’s transportation crisis. Over the past weeks he has worked with legislators and leaders from around the state to incorporate new ideas and address concerns,” said Del. Armstrong. “I’m hopeful that our colleagues in the General Assembly will take this crisis seriously and come together on a transportation solution now.”
Clearly there is a need for an adequate transportation solution, Senator Charles Colgan said. Thats why the Prince William County Board of Supervisors among many others unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the General Assembly to adequately fund the transportation and transit needs of the state.
The Governor has held nine town hall meetings across the Commonwealth over the last six weeks to talk to Virginians about his transportation plan. The tenth and final meeting is tonight in Fredericksburg. The Governors bill includes the same basic structure and revenue streams that he first announced on May 12th, but also includes more detailed proposals to improve land use and transportation planning, to employ innovative technology to reduce congestion, and to invest in mass transit.
The Governors bill:
· Incentivizes more efficient land use patterns by providing dedicated funding for transportation improvements in urban development areas;
· Provides start-up grant funding to increase passenger rail service through the Transportation Change Fund;
· Clarifies local government flexibility to use secondary and urban road funding for transit projects;
· Provides incentives for cities and towns to take responsibility for their road construction programs; and
· Provides funds for innovative public-private technology projects to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion on existing roads.
Governor Kaines bill addresses the highway maintenance deficit, increasing local road construction funding and restoring support for construction projects statewide; invests in targeted projects to reduce traffic congestion in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads; and creates a Transportation Change Fund. The Transportation Change Fund will increase investment in transit, rail, and innovative solutions to reduce traffic congestion, like expanded ridesharing. The fund also makes dollars available for transportation projects to support economic development through aviation, port, and innovative highway investments.
The Governors bill:
· Increases the existing statewide motor vehicles sales tax from 3% to 4%, with a ½ percent increase in January 2009 and another ½ percent in July 2009, and dedicates all motor vehicle sales tax funds to maintenance;
· Increases the statewide annual vehicle registration fee by $10 and dedicates those funds to maintenance;
· Increases the retail sales tax in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads by 1% (excluding food and drugs) for targeted projects, dedicating the funds to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, consistent with current law, and to seven regional projects in Hampton Roads, including the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, with the regional revenues to be held by a trustee in the region;
· Abolishes the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority;
· Increases the statewide grantors tax by 25 cents, dedicating the funds to the Transportation Change Fund.
Consistent with past proposals, all funds that the Governor proposes for transportation include a lockbox mechanism, specifying that the fund shall expire if it is used for any purpose other than transportation.
More information on the Governors transportation plan can be found at www.transportation.virginia.gov.
To view the Governors bill, please click here.