Lawmaker wants drivers to pay user fee at Virginia gas pumps

Posted at 3:43 AM, Jan 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-25 07:56:27-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Virginia Delegate Joe May (R- Loudoun County) has proposed a bill to the 2012 Virginia General Assembly that would essentially have drivers pay a toll at the gas pump before pumping gas.

The proposed tax would be the first ever "pump toll" in the United States.

May proposed a 50-cent surcharge for every gasoline purchase. An additional 50-cents would be added for every sale over 35 gallons. [CLICK HERE: Read HB802]

May said the money would ensure transportation projects are not funded through the general fund, as Governor Bob McDonnell proposed. He feared using money from the fund could take money away from public education. A claim the Governor's communication director Tucker Martin said is not true.

May said the Governor's plan of adding a half percent sales tax would only generate 10% of the money needed to fix Virginia's roads.

"This Republican and so do my Democrat friends all use our public roads and they badly need help," May said.

Michael O'Connor with the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association doesn't see the need for the added gas tax.

He said while Virginia's gas tax rate has remained unchanged at 17.5% since 1987, the amount of money the state has collected in tax revenues from the tax is up 95.5%.

"What I say to that is the number of lane miles that have to be maintained have gone up many times more than the amount the revenues have gone up," May said.