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Senate Vote Passes $880 Million Highway Reform

February 23, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The state Senate has passed the first long-term reform to Virginia's floundering 27-year-old system for funding repairs and upkeep of its 58,000-mile network of highways.

The 25-15 vote sends to Gov. Bob McDonnell what would be the defining policy legacy in the fourth and final year of the single, non-renewable term Virginia allows its governors.

It would replace Virginia's 17 1/2 cents-per-gallon retail gasoline tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline and a 6 percent levy on diesel fuel. It boosts statewide sales taxes from 5 percent to 5.3 percent. It increases the titling tax on car sales and adds a $100 registration fee for fuel-sipping hybrid vehicles. It also rules out proposed tolls on Interstate 95 south of Petersburg.

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-25th District) voted in favor of the bill. Sens. Mark Obenshain (R-26th District), Tom Garrett (R-22nd District) and Bryce Reeves (R-17th District) all voted against.


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