The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation funding plan and is encouraging state lawmakers to come up with a long-term plan to fund the state’s road and transit needs.
The Roanoke chamber announced its support for McDonnell’s plan Thursday and the governor’s office promoted it in a news release this afternoon. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and chamber groups in Hampton Roads and Prince William County also have backed the governor’s plan.
McDonnell wants to scrap the state’s 17.5 cents per-gallon gasoline tax and increase the state sales tax to help generate new revenue for transportation. McDonnell also has proposed a $15 increase in vehicle registration fees and would use part of the proceeds for passenger rail, including the extension of rail service to Roanoke.
McDonnell’s transportation proposal has received mixed reviews since he unveiled it on Tuesday. Legislators in both parties have raised concerns about scrapping the gas tax, partly because it would restrict the state’s ability to collect revenue from out-of-state drivers.
In a news release, Roanoke Regional Chamber Chairman Dan Motley urged lawmakers to give McDonnell’s plan their “utmost consideration.”
“The Roanoke Regional Chamber has been a consistent advocate for long-term, sustainable transportation funding mechanisms implemented on a statewide basis,” said Ronaoke Regional Chamber Chairman Dan Motley in a news release. “A modern, multi-modal transportation network will improve the lives of all Virginians by reducing congestion and facilitating the movement of goods, services, and people throughout the Commonwealth. We share the Governor’s sense of urgency on this critical issue and encourage members of the General Assembly from both parties to give the Governor’s proposal their utmost consideration as they work towards a long-term solution.”
– Michael Sluss