Virginia Chapter Sierra Club

Stop Dirty McDonnell Transportation Plan in the General Assembly Now

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Governor McDonnell's proposal to raise transportation funds will increase driving, traffic congestion, our oil dependence, and harmful air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. The Governor proposes to eliminate the gas tax, raise the sales tax by 16 percent, and rob the general fund.

While more transportation dollars are needed for road and bridge maintenance, and to support transit, the Governor's proposal is the wrong way to raise this money.

Here are issues central to the Governor's bills:

  • VDOT is wasting billions of dollars on the wrong road projects, like Route 460, the Coalfields Expressway, Charlottesville Bypass and NOVA Outer Beltway.
  • Eliminating the per gallon gasoline tax is bad economics and bad transportation policy. Eliminating this user fee and making everyone subsidize highway users through the sales tax will create an incentive for drivers to drive more, creating more congestion, greater dependence on oil, more harmful air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions, and demand to build ever more roads.
  • The state sales tax and general fund should not be used for statewide transportation because funds will be lost that are needed for K-12 education, universities, health, public safety and conservation.


Please contact your General Assembly Members right away and urge them to either work to improve the Governor’s legislation or oppose it.

Recipients

  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives

Contact

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Message

Please Oppose or Fix Governor's Transportation Plan

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am concerned about the legislation to implement Governor McDonnell's bad transportation funding plan.

No bill should be passed without requiring reform and accountability at VDOT. Our transportation challenge isn't just about more money, but about how the state uses our money. I urge you to oppose this legislation unless critical fixes are made through amendments that will do the following:

1) Include mandatory reevaluation of VDOT's big wasteful road projects. We could save billions of dollars that could address our real transportation needs.

2) Keep the gas tax. It is an appropriate user fee tying payments to use of Virginia's roads, and it ensures out of state drivers also contribute. Eliminating this user fee and making everyone subsidize highway users through the sales tax will create an incentive for drivers to drive more, creating more congestion, greater dependence on oil, more harmful air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions, and demand to build evermore roads. To provide needed additional transportation funding we should raise the gas tax and index it for inflation, or implement other appropriate user fees.

3) Remove any increase in the statewide sales tax or greater use of the General Fund for transportation. These revenues are needed for K-12 education, universities, health, public safety and conservation.

4) Remove the vehicle registration penalty for hybrid and alternative fuels vehicles. This provision will add to our transportation pollution problems by discouraging people from purchasing cleaner alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.

5) Require 25 percent of the new funding to go to transit and 15 percent to go to local roads.

6) Keep the $15 vehicle registration fee now in the bill to fund intercity passenger rail and public transit.

Again, if these changes are not made to the legislation then I urge you vote NO.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]




  

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