Va. lawmakers consider raising tax on gas

Posted at 7:31 AM, Jan 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-08 07:35:48-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The prices of gas could soon go up in Virginia. That is because both Democratic and Republican state lawmakers are considering plans to raise the gas tax in order to fund state transportation projects.

Virginia State Senator John Watkins said raising the gas tax approximately 12-cents a gallon is a fair answer to Virginia's transportation crisis. Virginia's gas tax has not increased since 1986. The gas tax is lower in Virginia than it is in the states that border the commonwealth.

In Virginia, the gas tax is at 17.5 percent. It is 20 percent in Tennessee, 23.5 percent in Washington D.C. and Maryland, 33.4 percent in West Virginia and 37.5 percent in North Carolina.

Gas tax map

"I would say to you, compared to tolls, it's a lot more efficient and a lot less costly to go with the gas tax," Sen. Watkins (R - Midlothian) said.

Watkins said to offset the tax, he would lower state income tax and eliminate some tax credits and exemptions.

While there are several bills this General Assembly session dealing with transportation funding, both sides of the aisle seem to be leaning toward the idea of a higher gas tax or a statewide sales tax.