Taxes a better solution than tolls

Published 7:19 pm Saturday, April 7, 2012

To the editor:

After following the issue of Midtown Tunnel financing in the Virginian-Pilot for the last few weeks, I believe that Delegate Chris Jones is correct to oppose continuing the contract with the foreign consortium to do the tunnel project unless it can be done in a less crippling manner to our local economy. Taking the Martin Luther King Freeway and Downtown Tunnel out of the project and putting money earmarked for Route 460, as the Pilot reports he has suggested, seems like a good start. So does getting the consortium out of annual maintenance.

One of the most interesting facts to me, to come out in the Pilot on March 16, is that we are paying about the same price for gasoline as residents in North Carolina, but North Carolina collects twice as much tax on gasoline as we do in Virginia! This means to me that we could double the gas tax; have twice as much money available for transportation projects; future expansion of Route 460; upgrade deteriorated roads; and pay no more for gasoline. The Pilot reported that the total available annually for road building and maintenance in Virginia is$2 billion. That does not seem adequate to me.

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John Newhard