Transportation funding down, even though gas taxes have gone up | Govt-and-politics

Tracy Owens, co-owner of the family-owned Owens Market and Truck Plaza in Goode, said business at his location has remained thriving throughout the pandemic and since the fuel tax increase.

“We’ve been busy throughout the whole coronavirus deal,” Owens said. The majority of the market’s revenue comes from deli sales.

Fuel tax increases occur periodically regardless, Owens said, and his fuel sales are not significantly impacted by them.

Even in the best of times, those increased fuel tax revenues would be partly offset by a 25% cut in registration fees for most vehicles, the transfer of a $60 million annual transportation obligation from the general fund budget, an additional $20 million for the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the elimination of a $5 walk-in fee for people who go to Department of Motor Vehicles offices for transactions they could do online.

As a result, the state expects a $74 million increase in net fuel tax revenues in the first year, not $200.7 million, and $280 million in the second year, not $400.5 million, Donohue said.

Regional fuel tax revenues are designated by law to be used only for transportation projects in the highway construction district where they were collected, he said.

“We can’t sweep that money to use it to plug those holes,” Donohue said.

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